Is the Church the Body of Christ or His Bride?

Let’s celebrate the wedding of the Lamb and the New Jerusalem, AMEN, COME LORD.
Yes COME!

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Since childhood I have heard always that the Church is the Body of Christ and also the Bride, but it is that what the Bible is indicating?

First we must understand in a clear way the following terms here in question:

  • Bride
    • G3565
    • νύμφη
    • numphē
    • noom-fay’
    • From a primary but obsolete verb νύπτω nuptō (to veil as a bride; compare the Latin “nupto”, to marry); a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication, a son’s wife: – bride, daughter in law.
    • Total KJV occurrences: 8
    • Total KJV occurrences of the term “bride”: 14
  • Body
    • G4983
    • σῶμα
    • sōma
    • so’-mah
    • From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively: – bodily, body, slave.
    • Total KJV occurrences: 146
    • Total KJV occurrences of the Term “Body of Christ”: 4
  • Bridegroom
    • G3566
  • νυμφίος
  • numphios
  • noom-fee’-os
  • From G3565; a bride groom (literally or figuratively): – bridegroom.
  • Total KJV occurrences: 16

While during the Reformation time, in where Martin Luther and other great church leaders did their best to established and clarified the role and the effect of the Church in the believer’s life, it is also certain they fail to make very clear many points that had been the roots of today’s misunderstanding, misinterpretations, and in many instances the roots of many cults and heresies.

In today’s assemblies there is a lack of teaching the root of the Word of God to the followers of the Way, as it was under the beginning of the Church or assembly, even apostle Paul indicated that very clear in many instances such as in the epistle to the Colossians;

  • Col 1:28 KJV
    (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

If you might remember, and just to mentioned, in the Book of Daniel in chapter 2 the image giving in a dream to the king Nebuchadnezzar indicates the fact that the feet were of a mixture of iron and clay. For long time and by many scholars and Bible’s enthusiasts, attribute this part of the image to the influence of the Roman empire / Catholic church in the human history, and it maybe so in part, (but after many years on this subject, not counting my many days and hours of every day in humble prayers) I feel this is a direct relation to the seven assemblies from the Book of Revelation and the times of Reformation, of course this is a subject for another time to discuses.

Lets continue; among the subjects that the time of the Reformation fail to clarified for the masses, and was kept in shadows of ignorance and traditions tough in this subject of the Body of Christ (this is the Church/Assembly) and the Bride of Christ (this is the New Jerusalem), as I am confident with the Holy Spirit guidance on the Word of Truth will be able to demonstrate.

I am obligated to mention in this Bible Study, the fact that, what I called “Israeltology” (this is the study of Israel in regard to the Gospel/Church and the Gentile). To me the Bible makes very clear the three types of identities the plan of God is directed to. That is; the Plan of Redemption for the People of Israel, the Plan of Salvation for the Gentiles/Believers/Followers of the Way, and the End Plan for the Non-Believer/Gentiles/Earth Dwellers (as they are called in the Book of Revelation). Three different entities with three different plans and choices. Once again this is subject for another time and another Bible Study.

Getting back on track;

The “Body of Christ” is a term that only appear under the New Testament, this does not mean that the term “body” is not mentioned under the Old Testament, in fact on the KJV the word “body” is mentioned 146 times.

It is imperative to mentioned that it is not but until the letter to Romans that the Apostle Paul mentioned the “Body of Christ” as an indication of the way for the Followers of the Way to received freedom from the slavery or bondage of the LAW and as a result the freedom to married one another through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus in the Cross.

Later on on the 1st letter to the Corinthians 10:16 the Apostle also make a clear reference to the followers of the Lord and compared the bread in the communion as of the Lord indicates to be “His Body”, doing so in a form of question, more indicative of the direct relation of the Believer in Christ to be a member of the Body of Christ.

In the same letter but in chapter 12 verse 27, Paul declared without any possibility of misunderstanding the notion that the Church of the Lord is in fact the Body of Christ.

In the Book of the Ephesians 4:12 the Apostle himself declares the main reason behind each believer to become part of the Body of Christ, and this is due to the feeling of ownership, as he expressed in the same verse of the same book before mentioned, and it said the following;

Eph 4:8-16 KJV
(8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
(10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
(11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

As a result, we as part of the Body of Christ must search for:

  • The perfection of each and every member of the Church/Believer/Follower of the Way,
  • for the work of the Ministry
    • prayers
    • fastenings
    • reading and searching the Word of the Truth and its knowledge through the Holy Spirit
    • comforting each others with the Word of the Gospel of the Lord at all times
    • preaching, teaching and exhorting(sometimes rebuking) with the Word of the Lord
  • for the Edification of the Body of Christ

and there is a key word used for this exhortation from the Apostle, and that is “until” the following:

  • We all come to the unity of the Faith
    • Hebrews 11:1
  • the knowledge of the Son of God

And by doing this, to become a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (in other words, to be capable to become spiritual adults and not becoming dependent of the milk but instead capable of nurturing the body with the meat that contains the nutrients for a healthy spiritual growth). Please read below;

  • Heb_5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
  • Heb_5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
  • 1Pe_2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

As you keep reading in the Book of the Ephesians in chapter 4 verses 14-16, the reasons are clear, and that for we as part of the Body of Christ to be capable to grow founded in the Truth of His Word for us a members of His Body not to be moved by the winds of heresies, false teachers, traditions without biblical foundations and so on and even more so with the understanding the Christ is the Head of the Body.

How glorious is to know, that as members of that Body of Christ, we will be not just part of the weeding with the Bride but join together in marriage with the Bride.

And now, here comes the “Bride”…

Throughout all the Bible the people of Israel are seeing as the Bride of the Lord God. And due to her infidelity with idols and sins, the Lord God feel, she (Israel) had been unfaithful to Him, for example;

In the Book of;

  • Isaiah
    • 49:18, 61:10, 62:5
  • Jeremiah
    • 2:32, 7:34, 16:9, 25:10, 33:11
  • Joel
    • 2:16
  • John
    • 3:29
  • Rev
    • 18:23, 21:2, 21:9-10, 22:17

Among all the above verses above, I like for you to pay attention to the one in the Book of Revelation 21:2, and it said;

  • Rev 21:2 KJV
    • (2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Notice how specific the Apostle John is in his description of what he saw;

  1. the holy city
    1. The New Jerusalem
      1. coming down from God out of Heaven
      2. prepared as a bride
      3. adorned for her Husband (Jesus Christ)

And also at Revelation 21:9-10;

  • Rev 21:9-10 KJV
    (9) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
    (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

  1. The angel is showing to the Apostle John the “Bride
  • the Lamb’s wife
    • Great City
    • Holy Jerusalem
    • descending from Heaven
  • Rev 22:17 KJV
    (17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

  1. The Spirit say Come
  2. The Bride say Come (Israel/New Jerusalem)
  3. The hearer say Come (The Believer/Follower of the Way/Body of Christ)

In conclusion, I hope you can also say with me as the hearer of the Word of Truth, Yes Come Lord Jesus, Yes Come! Lets celebrate the wedding of the Lamb with the New Jerusalem as His Bride, and us as Followers of the Way and as the Body of Christ!

The Church is the Body of Christ
The New Jerusalem is the Bride…

The Assembly of Laodicea

Background and History:

Laodicea on the Lycus (Greek: Λαοδίκεια πρὸς τοῦ Λύκου; Latin: Laodicea ad Lycum, also transliterated as Laodiceia or Laodikeia) (modern Turkish: Laodikeia) was an ancient city built on the river Lycus (Çürüksu). It was located in the Hellenistic regions of Caria and Lydia, which later became the Roman Province of Phrygia Pacatiana. It is now situated near the modern city of Denizli.  This particular city was near Hierapolis and not too far from Colossae.  Hierapolis was well known for their “Hot Springs” and Colossae for their cold fresh waters.  As the waters run through the aqueduct to the city of Laodicea from Hierapolis it became “Lukewarm” waters (this could be emedic).

  • 2000 BC Originally founded by the Ionians as a relatively small town of Diospolis.
  • 19th Century BC the Hittites added it to their empire.
  • 900 BC captured by the Phrygians and soon afterward by the Lydians (renamed Rhoas).
  • 250 BC taken by the Syrians.
  • Antiochus II rebuilt the town renaming it after his wife “Laodice”.
  • 190 BC Became part of the kingdom of Pergamos.
  • Ultimately pass into the hands of the Roman Empire.
  • It was recorded by several historians, such as Josephus, of been populated by a great Jewish colony.

Economy:

  • The economy of the city was based on;
    • Bankers
    • Merchants
    • Gold refiners
  • I was in a junction roads leading from Ephesus and Smyrna.
  • It is recorded the caravan trades where as far as the “Yellow River” in Punjab by the China Sea.
  • Populated with very Wealthy Society members of the area, it was considered a “Neutral City” and never in need of a military power to defend it.
  • During the middle of the First Century, it was destroyed by an earthquake and rather on waiting, or asking for, or even depending on any help from the Roman Empire, its own society members rebuild it without any help from Rome. This was indicative of a very “prideful society”.
  • There are many architectural remains today testifying of its former luxury.
  • Textile Manufacturing was well known in the region at the time. The production and manufacturing of “Black Wool” (from a very particular strain of sheep bred in the Lycus Valley) with a glossy look and a soft and warm texture.  It was used in Clothing and Carpets.

Science:

The city was also well known for their school of medicine, especially for an ointment known at the time as “Phrygian Powder” ( a mixture of oil and collyrium powder).

Definition:

the Name of Laodicea
G2994

Λαοδικεύς

Laodikeus

lah-od-ik-yooce’

From G2993; a Laodicean, that is, inhabitant of Laodicia: – Laodicean.

Total KJV occurrences: 2

The  name of this particular city is a compound name;  “Lao” = people and “Diceans”= rulers, “Rule by the People”, this mean it was a democratic government, we will never know.  Never the less when this particular letter is brought to the point of view from the assembly (church), it is obvious that the “Ruler” of the Church is and always will be the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Inside the Word:


 

Rev 3:14 LITV

(14)  And to the angel of the assembly of Laodicea, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God:

 

The verse 14 of this chapter Three in Revelation, starts by, as the other letters from the Lord, assigned to the angel that was going to deliver it to the assembly of Laodicea.  Many of you have had heard traditionally that this is referring to the leader of the assembly, and that the Lord is directing the letter to such individual.  I do not share this point of view.  I clearly explained the reasons why on one of my previous letters on my Blog, but for the benefits of many, I will retouch some of those points that make me think differently from the traditional way.

  1. God is dictating this letter to John the Apostle and is not dictating to John to send this letter to the leader of this particular assembly. God tells directly to John to “…write…”, but what I believe the phrase is indicating is the command from God to the messenger or angel assign for this direct communication with this assembly, so He cal the angel to be alert and ready.  God always rely on His angels to deliver the messages and answers that the people of God are either requesting in prayer or the Lord God in His mercy send to them.
  2. God works through mysterious ways, and as you know the apostle was left on the island of Patmos to die due to his sentence. My question to you is, how the letters came to the hands of the assemblies?  How the letters came to be known after the apostle wrote them?  In one way or another, it does require a special messenger to delivered them in the event of a spiritual battle take place.  Please referred to the Book of Daniel Chapter 10 (read below);
    1. Dan 10:12-13 LITV
      1. (12) And he said to me, Do not fear, Daniel. For from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. And I have come because of your words.
      2. (13) But the king of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days. But, lo, Michael, one of the first rulers, came to help me. And I stayed there with the kings of Persia.

 

In the assembly of the Lord (The Church), not one and I mean no one is above of anyone, all the members of the assembly have the same responsibilities and obligations, everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord.  Please read the following:

  1. Luk 22:24-30 LITV
    1. (24) And there was also a dispute among them, who of them seems to be greater.
    2. (25) And He said to them, The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those exercising authority over them are called benefactors.
    3. (26) But you be not so, but the greater among you, let him be as the lesser; and the one governing as the one
    4. (27) For who is greater, the one reclining, or the one serving? Is it not the one reclining? But I am in your midst as One
    5. (28) But you are those continuing with Me in My temptation.
    6. (29) And I appoint a kingdom to you, as My Father appointed to Me,
    7. (30) that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

Orthographically it is very important to notice the separator that exists between the name of the assembly and the command verb, it is a comma “,” which exist to denote a pause and a separation of time and direction.  It is like if after He directs His command to the angel calling for his attention, He looked to the apostle giving to the apostle the command to write.  Never the less that is much irrelevant in regard to the message of the letter to the assembly, I think.

As we continue to noticed in this particular verse 14 of chapter 3 in the Book of Revelation, there are three descriptive Titles for the Identification of the Lord God:

  1. …These things says the Amen…
    1. G281
    2. ἀμήν / amēn / am-ane’
    3. Of Hebrew origin [H543]; properly firm, that is, (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially surely (often as interjection so be it): – amen, verily.
      1. Total KJV occurrences: 152
        1. H543
          1. אָמֵן / ‘âmên / aw-mane’
          2. From H539; sure; abstractly faithfulness; adverbially truly: – Amen, so be it, truth.
            1. Total KJV occurrences: 30

This particular descriptive title occurs only once in the Bible, that is on this particular occasion only.  It is very clear that God is assuring His Church that Hi is the One to be trusted

  1. …the faithful and true Witness…
    1. Once again this particular descriptive title is used only in this particular verse of this chapter in the Bible. But the difference in this title versus the first one is that in this second title God is using two:
      1. …faithful…
      2. …true Witness…
    2. Notice also how the word “Witness” is spelled out, with capital letter “W”, indicative of the authority and ownership of His Name and position. He is our only Witness to the Father.
  2. The third and most impressive of them all is the one He uses here; …the Head of the creation of God…
    1. To get into the analysis of this particular title used here by the Lord God, will take much longer that we can have for this particular Blog, but let be brief;
      1. First, if you count the words used in this particular title, using the “KJV” or the “LITV” of the Bible notice that there are a total of seven words, indicative of “Consummation”, this is indicating that Jesus is not only the Beginning of the Creation (see; Gen 1:1; 1:26: John 1: 1-5) and also He is the Consummation of ALL Creation (Rev 21: 6).
    2. Christ is the “Head” of the Body (Col 1:17-20), which is the Church (1Co 12:27; Eph 5:30)

Rev 3:15 LITV

(15)  I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold, or hot.

 

In this particular letter to the assembly of Laodicea, the Lord goes directly to the point without hesitation.  There is no commendations on this letter, nothing good at all to say, and neither any softening words of consolation.  There is no place to hide from the presence of the Almighty.  God is telling this assembly that there is one way and one way only to do the works in the field of the Lord’s Gospel, and that is to proceed and act as is requested by Him in His Word.  That preaching the Word of the Gospel of the Lord is not just about screaming it out of our lungs in front of a multitude, or to proceed to do good for us to be seeing by others, or even to do good deeds to those that blessed us only, not at all.  But to live a life as “Ambassadors” of the Gospel of Truth in the Lord Jesus Christ and from which, we can bring to the knowledge of salvation, those that never heard of such wonderful Way of Life.  If we are capable of living our lives as is described by the Lord’s Word, we as “Followers of the Way” not only will discover the truthful happiness of “Living”, but then again we will become witnesses of the Gospel of Christ through our actions.

By us, as followers of the Lord, living our lives as we are requested on the Word of God, our lives will grow without us even noticing such changes.  The more we act and live as true Christians, the closer we will be to the Lord.  Every day becomes a step closer to the “man” that the Lord wants us to become, and a step farther from the man that we were in our past life.  There is no science into this, there is no mystery, there is absolutely nothing but a simple step forward to the man that the lord wants us to become every day in Him.

Many leaders, preachers, minister and others concentrate on the fact that this is “not cold nor hot waters, but instead lukewarm”, and indeed that is very important in this letter.  But the fact is not this assembly is “lukewarm” but more so the reason why is a “lukewarm”.

Rev 3:16-18 LITV

(16)  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit you out of My mouth.

(17)  Because you say, I am rich, and I am made rich, and I have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

(18)  I advise you to buy from Me gold having been fired by fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, and your shame and nakedness may not be revealed. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

 

Many time over in our lives we can tell our mistakes and also the road we are taking is the wrong road to take, but on our own risk and blinded by our own understanding we continue without hesitation moving forward until we fall, and is then at that very moment we start to look for the hand of the Lord to come to our help.

Verse 16 chapter 3 in Revelation tell us just that, we should look once again at what the Book of Proverbs tells us about it:

  1. Pro 3:1-12 LITV

(1)  My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands,

(2)  for they shall add length of days and long life and peace to you.

(3)  Mercy and truth will not forsake you, tie them on your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart,

(4)  and you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

(5)  Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.

(6)  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

(7)  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Jehovah and depart from evil.

(8)  Healing shall be to your navel and marrow to your bones.

(9)  Honor Jehovah with your substance, and with the firstfruits of all your increase,

(10)  and your barns shall be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst with new wine.

(11)  My son, do not reject the chastening of Jehovah, and do not loathe His correction;

(12)  for whom Jehovah loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son with whom he is pleased.

Please read verse 17 of Chapter 3 in Revelation, and you will come to the same conclusion as mine, there is nothing in the Word of God about us imposing our will over the will of the Creator, and expect all to be great and accepted in the eyes of the Lord.  That is what is happening in this assembly.  A misconception of life fundamental values and the misappropriation of such as we disrupt our own way of life and path of our mortal journey.  We do understand that there is a purpose for our lives in the Christian journey, but to reject the notion that we as a human can’t take control of our own journey make us challenge the very principal for the one we, as “Followers of the Way”, had been called:

  1. Rom 8:28-29 LITV

(28)  But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;

(29)  because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.

By rejecting the role that we had been given and possess our own interpretation of what we think we should be and we are, based on our “own understanding”.  We become blindfolded to the spiritual truth on the eye of the One that predestines us to be who we must be under His will.  At that very moment, we are no longer part of Him, who called us, but a member of this world looking to be like the ones that are not from this world.  By doing so, we are part of something that doesn’t belong to the Body of Christ but a “Spot” on the Gospel of the Lord.

Once again, GOD is willing to give us the opportunity to be part of His Body (The Church), and the only way to do so is as in verse 18 of chapter three in Revelation indicates, we must buy directly from HIM, the gold that has been fired by fire.  For you and I, in this contemporary world, this expression may not make much sense at all, but for the assembly in question, this is very clear to them.  Their main economy was based, in three important and key items.  What will be accomplished by doing what it is said by God in this particular verse?  Let see:

  1. Refine Gold
    1. One important key element of their economy was the refinery of Gold.
    2. We are getting what we need from the Main Supplier, no middle man, no misunderstanding, no confusion, no dilemmas, no disruption of supply, no impurity on the product (none).
    3. Buying gold at the main source provider will not only give you the certainty of receiving a quality product but and unlimited source of the gold needed. This will make you rich in every way imaginable.
  2. Textile
    1. Another key item on their economy was the “Black Wool”, used among other things for garments.
    2. The Lord is asking to this assembly to get garments from Him, not the regular “Black Wool” but instead “White Garments”.
    3. Why so important? You may ask;
      1. White Garment are more balance and delicates to the appearance.
      2. White Garments are the one that the Church will be adorned with and no other color or imitation of it, none.
  3. Medicine
    1. The Lord in a brief but very clear and explicit way expressed to the assembly that if they get from Him the anointing of the Holy Spirit and to get into the WORD of GOD. Here in this part of the verse, there are two words we must look in an individual way to understanding them:
    2. Anoint;
      1. G1472 / ἐγκρίω / egchriō / eng-khree’-o
      2. From G1722 and G5548; to rub in (oil), that is, besmear: – anoint.
        1. Total KJV occurrences: 1
    3. Eye salve
      1. G2854 /  Κολλούριον / kollourion / kol-loo’-ree-on
      2. Neuter of a presumed derivative of κολλύρα kollura (a cake; probably akin to the base of G2853); properly a poultice (as made of or in the form of crackers), that is, (by analogy) a plaster: – eyesalve.
      3. Total KJV occurrences:
      4. So the Lord is asking to this assembly to rub in the oil of the Holy Spirit to be able to eat the “Bread” through their eyes of spiritual knowledge of the WORD of GOD, which is the “Bread of Life”.
        1. Eph_1:13  in whom also you, hearing the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also believing you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
        2. Eph_4:29  Let not any filthy word go out of your mouth, but if any is good to building up in respect to the need, that it may give grace to the ones hearing.
        3. Col_3:17  And everything, whatever you do in word or in work, do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father through Him.
        4. 2Th_2:17  encourage your hearts, and may He establish you in every good word and work.
        5. 2Ti_4:2  preach the Word, be urgent in season, out of season, convict, warn, encourage with all long-suffering and teaching.

Rev 3:19 LITV

(19)  I, as many “as I love, I rebuke and I chasten.” Be zealous, then, and repent. Prov. 3:12

Verse 19 of chapter three in the Book of revelation is as clear and simple, that only by spiritual blindness the individual won’t be able to understand.  God desire for all us the only best from Him.  As a Father, He only rebukes and chastens the ones He loves.  All you and I must be very dedicated to observed is to ask in prayer, that we (you and I) can and will be counted among those to be “rebuke and chasten” by the love of Christ and under His Mercy.  There is a very important point to observed on this verse and that is that the believer must step in and not just to “REPENT” but for the process of repentance to take effect in the heart of the believer, it must be creating with it some degree of zealously, moving the life of the believer to a life of action.

  • Pro 3:11-12 LITV
    • (11)  My son, do not reject the chastening of Jehovah, and do not loathe His correction;
    • (12)  for whom Jehovah loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son with whom he is pleased.

Rev 3:20 LITV

(20)  Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will enter to him, and I will dine with him, and he with Me.

 

In this verse 20, the Lord says to the assembly very clearly that He stand at the Door.  In previous chapters and verses we see how the Lord is in the midst of the assembly but in this particular case, the Lord is outside the door.  It is a dramatical implication to it.

  1. In ancient times doors were designed with only one lock or secure mechanism, but from the inside of the house, and not to be capable of being open from the outside as it is done today. The implication here is very important because required from the believer to open the door for any visual communication to take
  2. The second point to consider is that the invitation is to the individual and not to the assembly. The Lord specifically said, “…If Anyone…”, this is an individual invitation to take action and not a group invitation for the action to take place.  Each individual is part of the Church and the individual is the important and integral part of the plan of Salvation.  He/she  are the Temple of God and as result of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, he/she is the Body of Christ which is the Church.
  3. The Lord is inviting the individual that give him/herself to the Lord to be partaker of the Glory of the Lord.

Rev 3:21 LITV

(21)  The one overcoming, I will give to him to sit with Me in My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father in His throne.

 

Here is the promise to the overcomer, and that is to sit with the Lord in His throne…  This is very special promise because the throne that was given to the Lord Jesus Christ, in addition, to be sitting with the Father in Heaven was also the one of “King David”.  But King David’s throne was not in existence at the time of Jesus Birth, how could that be, you may ask?

Here is a Biblical reference that will clear for you that question:

  1. Luk 1:29-33 KJV
    1. (29)  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
    2. (30)  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
    3. (31)  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
    4. (32)  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
    5. (33)  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Rev 3:22 LITV

(22)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

 

And of course here is the closing statement from the Holy Spirit to the ones that are not only reading this but more so hearing this message of Salvation.  If you have an ear hear what the Holy Spirit is telling you.  The Lord Is Coming Soon, Be Ready!

The Assembly of Smyrna / Second Letter to the Assemblies (Book of Revelation)

Background and History:      Smyrna

Smyrna is known today as “Izmir”, located in Turkey and as a major city with a population of approximately 300,000 habitants.  It has an excellent harbor, import/export few items such as tobacco, grapes, cotton, figs, olive oil and other.

The original city was destroyed about B.C. 627, and was deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. Alexander the Great contemplated its restoration, and his design was carried out after his death. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest in Asia Minor, being known as the glory of Asia. It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being Homer’s birthplace. A splendid temple was erected by the Smyrnaeans to his memory, and a cave in the neighborhood of the city was shown where he was said to have composed his poems. Smyrna’s fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also distinguished for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. Polycarp was the first bishop of its church, which suffered much from persecution, and he was said to have suffered martyrdom in the stadium of the city, A.D. 166. It is argued with some plausibility that Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna at the time of the composition of Revelation, and was the person addressed here. This question, however, is bound up with that of the date of composition (see Trench, “Epistles to the Seven Churches”). The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus.

Alyattes, the king of “Lydia”, successfully conquered it, putting an end to a history of two and one-half millennia.  Alexander the Great, during the fourth century, put in charge one of his four generals to build in its place the most beautiful, well build and planned city in Ionia.  The result was known as the “Flower of Ionia”.   27 B.C. Smyrna went under the Romans control and which became a great allied to the Romans during the Syrian/Mithridatic wars.  From 27 B.C. to 324 A.D it was a powerful city with great material prosperity.  From the years 178 A.D. throughout 180 A.D. suffered many seismic disturbances but always rebound from it.

Today, Smyrna (Izmir), is known as “The Paris of the Levant”.  The richly embellishment of the temples and splendid buildings, in a perfect symmetry of those encircling “Mount Pagos” resulted in the title “the crown of Smyrna”.

Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today "Izmir" also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.
Please Click on this link to be able to see a Map of what is today “Izmir” also known as Smyrna during Bible Times.

Religion

There is a legend that surround the origins of this great empire, and which it also has to do with their polytheistic believes.  Never the less, the beginning of the Roman religious believes were “animistic” in character.  Their believe were, everything that was around them and that inhabited the Earth had its own spirit or numen. They truly believe, they were watched over by their ancestors’ spirits called “genius” (for male) and “juno” (for female).

Early in their history due to the Sabine influence, the romans had as prominent gods the following:

  • Mars
    1. The god of war
      1. Vital role in the beginning of the Roman history.
        • In accordance with the legend of the foundation of Rome, he was the father of Romulus and Remus.
  • Quirinus
    1. The god who watched over the people and government of Rome was the deified Romulus.
  • Jupiter
    1. The leader of the gods

All the three gods were worshiped at the temple on the Capitoline Hill, which they were known as the Capitoline Triad.  This Sabine influence did not replace the former believe but instead, they were added to their worship.

Later on the Monarchy period, the Etruscan influence was such, that the Capitoline triad underwent a transformation:

  • Jupiter still at the pinnacle of their religion.
  • Mars was replaced with Juno
    1. Juno became the wife of Jupiter
  • Quirinus was replaced with Minerva
    1. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter and Juno
      1. goddess of wisdom

Once the Greeks were settled on the South of the Italian peninsula, also influence their religious believes.  These last influenced the Romans by giving to the Romans the power to create their mythology, and as a result, an eloquent and pictographic gamma of characters of Roman gods were borrowed from the Greek gods.

Examples of such are:

Roman gods                                      Greek gods

  • Jupiter                                          Zeus
  • Mars                                             Ares
  • Minerva                                        Athena
  • Apollo                                           Apollo

This particular process on any culture in were the influence is operating this way is called “syncretism”, a distinctive nature displayed by the Romans gods vs the counterparts was the fact that they displayed a frugal nature.  The believer’s faith was guided by a college of “pontiffs” (an assembly of the highest ranking priest in the Ancient Roman/does this sound familiar?).  The highest among them was “pontifex maximus”, position hold by patricians until the third century B.C. a plebian Roman could hold such position.  Also even though this position was a highly wholly spiritual function, there was later on politicized. A great example of this was Julius Caesar, whose was the pontifex maximus during the first Triumvirate.

Each god had their own temple, priest or flamines.  While the college was task with the affairs of the gods, the flamines represented their particular deity.  The most important priest represented the Capitoline Triad, there was an exception to the rule and that was the priestesses to Vesta, goddess of the hearth, all were men. The Vestal Virgins (as they were known) priestesses were ordered to remain celibate for the entire thirty years of service and their task was to keep the sacred fire of Vesta burning in the temple. Many privileges were given to them, among some, privilege to own properties, to vote, no longer under the control of their parents, highly regarded and a reason why many patrician families wished their daughters to be given the position.  The title of Vestal Virgins were appointed by the pontifex maximus by a drawing lots.  Some of the downsides of the Vestal Virgins were for example that if the priestess fail to remain celibate for any period of the thirty years of service the punishment was to be buried alive.

During the beginning of the Empire, the emperor were deified after death, but it was not until Julius Caesar that the emperor was deified during their terms and after him many others will follow, there were couple exceptions; Caligula and Nero.

Worship of the imperial cult became a commonplace and even many of the emperors believed to be themselves “gods”.  Commodus, for example, believed to be Hercules himself, Diocletian found affinity with Jupiter.  Never the less, the one who made himself to be placed in a statue in the Jewish temples around the Roman Empire was Caligula.

Christianity started as a marginal and persecuted sect, but ended up the official state religion.  As the Christians grew in number and with the ability to influence the Emperor Constantine, convinced by the Christian teachings, Constantine marched into a battle with the banner of Christ, and with heavy odds against him and his army, won the battle and attributed to Christ the victory calling it a divine intervention.

Immediately after his victory, Constantine passed the “Edict of Milan”, professing tolerance toward Christians and their believes.  He ended baptized and the majority of his successors were Christians.  Julian was an exception to that rule, trying to reinstate the traditional Roman gods, but with no much result.  It was not but until 380 A.D. that Christianity became the State Religion.

During the month of December (December Saturnalia), on what is known as the “Via Sacra” (Sacred Way), passage that runs from the Coliseum, the Capitoline Hill (Capitoline Triad Temple Location) and Temple of Jupiter, marches and religious festivals took place.

Up to now is a brief view of the religious practices of the Roman Empire during the first, second and portion of the third centuries.

Let’s start with the Biblical passage for our delight, which is located in the 2nd Chapter of the Book of Revelation verses 8-11. Keep in mind I am using the Literate Translation which you will be able to find by downloading e-Sword program ( www.e-Sword.org ) which is a great tool for Bible Studies and is totally free of charge.

(Rev 2:8)  And to the angel of the assembly of Smyrna, write: These things says the First and the Last, Who became dead, and lived:

Once again we can see how the Lord Jesus Christ appointed the angel to take the message to the assembly of Smyrna. This is indicative that there is always a particular messenger for the plan of God in our lives.  This particular messenger knows the target in question and understand the all details regarding the assembly of Smyrna.

“These things says the First and the Last”…  Please pay attention to the way the Lord uses the first word in the sentences, which is in a plural manner.   It is indicating to us, the multiple things the Lord sees in our lives that many times we have no idea of them.  Immediately after it is brought up one of the names that our Lord is known by: and these can be read in four more locations in the Bible:

  1. Isa 41:4
  2. Rev 1:11
  3. Rev 1:17
  4. Rev 2:8
  5. Rev 22:13

It is not until the Book of revelation that this particular Name of God is used in Capital Letters (this could be observed if you use the LIT Translation vs the KJV).

Another portion that is curious to observe in the verse the use of …”Who became dead, and lived:”…  By using this particular name, God Himself becomes a witness of His selfish act in the Cross for all mankind.

As you continue reading this passage, you can’t stop noticing the theme of “death” in the letter.

As you know the word “Smyrna” means “Myrrh” which is a spice used to either preserve the bodies after death and as an aromatic spice, which is what normally we know about it.  Never the less, there is a passage in  Genesis 37:25 that mention specifically this spice and is in relation to the narrative of Joseph son of Jacob.

Also in Exodus 30:23 it is mentioned to be included as part of the group of species and other ointments to be use for the anointing of the tabernacle, the ark of the testimony, the table and vessels, the altar of incense and the altar of burnt offering with vessels, the laver and his foot, also Aaron and his sons. Such anointed group of spices and oils was going to be presented to the children of Israel as a holy anointing oil throughout the generations.

In Esther 2:12 you can see the use of Myrrh in the anointing of the royal queen before to be presented to the king.

Myrrh is also found in the Bible as one of the three gifts the wise men presented to the Christ Child, according to the gospel of Matthew. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus was offered wine and myrrh before the crucifixion.

In Isaiah 60:6 expressed the Word of God that will be given presents to the Lord Jesus during the millennium but among the gifts presented to Him one will be out of the equation, and that is “myrrh”.  Myrrh was representative of the pain and suffering of our Lord as a human on this earth, but that will be all behind Him once He entered the millennium and after.

(Rev 2:9)  I know your works, and the affliction, and the poverty; but you are rich. And I know the evil speaking of those saying themselves to be Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

The Lord in verse 9 started to give the commendations of the assembly of Smyrna.  The Lord started by saying to the assembly:

  1. I know your works
  2. I know your affliction
    1. G2347
    2. θλίψις
    3. thlipsis
    4. thlip’-sis
      1. From G2346; pressure (literally or figuratively): – afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.
    5. Total KJV occurrences: 45
    6. Notice how this word is used to denote one of the qualities of the spice of myrrh which is to be pressure in order for the spice to be effective in its natural way.
  3. I know your poverty
    1. G4432
    2. πτωχεία
    3. ptōcheia
    4. pto-khi’-ah
    5. From G4433; beggary, that is, indigence (literally or figuratively): – poverty. This is used when there is nothing at all available, there is nothing you can reach for. Extreme poor.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 3
      1. But you are rich
      2. Is this not knowing of your worth by choice or by ignorance on the part of the assembly? Does the assembly knows they are rich but choose to be poor or do they think they are really poor?
  • (2Co 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich, He became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich by the poverty of that One.
  1. I know the “evil speaking” of those saying themselves to be Jews
    1. G988
    2. βλασφημία
    3. blasphēmia
    4. blas-fay-me’-ah
    5. From G989; vilification (especially against God): – blasphemy, evil speaking, railing.
    6. Total KJV occurrences: 19
      1. They Are Not
      2. They are synagogue of Satan.
        1. As I have read this particular section of the verse, my head started spinning in questions about why is this said here by the Lord? There is also an important point that we must remember, the Lord was very straight and clear to the adversary and his followers, and He never deviated.
        2. If we read John chapter 8, we will noticed the level of tension that existed among Jesus and the so called “religious leaders of the Jews”, in particular in verse 18 and 19.
        3. In John 8:19 the religious leaders asked the Lord … (Joh 8:19) Then they said to Him, Where is your father? Jesus answered, You neither know Me, nor My Father. If you had known Me, then you also would have known My Father.
          1. In the above phrase in Bold/Italic/Underline format they were trying to tell Jesus that He (Jesus) was a “Bastard” (this is what is known today as a sarcasm). The below verses demonstrate how intense was the tension, and when you read these verse read it as if you were a Jew…
        4. (Joh 8:39) They answered and said to Him, Abraham is our father (here is the second time in this chapter they said to Jesus in an indirect way that He was a “Fatherless Child” (Bastard)). Jesus said to them, If you were children of Abraham, you would do the works of Abraham.
        5. (Joh 8:40) But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I heard alongside of Abraham did not do this.
        6. (Joh 8:41) You do the works of your father. They said to Him, We were not born of fornication; we have one father, God (This is the third time in this chapter they indicated to the Lord that “He” (Our Lord Jesus) was a “Bastard”).
        7. (Joh 8:42) Then Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I went forth and have come from God. For I have not come from Myself, but that One sent Me.
        8. (Joh 8:43) Why do you not know My speech? It is because you are not able to hear My Word.
        9. (Joh 8:44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it.

(Rev 2:10)  Do not at all fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw you into prison, so that you may be tried; and you will have affliction ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We as Christians know that it is very difficult to be a “Follower of the Way” (as we used to be known before the term Christians came about).  We must pray for those that persecute us, forgive those that torment us and bless those that curse us, right?  Of course we must.  But there is also a reminder from the Lord that no matter what we will go thru in life, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

1Ki_8:57  Jehovah our God is with us as He has been with our fathers; He shall not forsake us or leave us,

Also in this particular verse there is an important part that many believers omit as they read this passage, that is the reality of a an accuser that is always ready to point his fingers at us just to make our lives a “living hell”, he is called the devil.  This part on this particular verse can’t and most not be confused with the part of the “Great Tribulation”, this part of the  verse is what we will see on a daily basis just for been part of the “Special Elite Unit” called “Christians” or “Follower of the Way”.  One way or another, there is no doubt that the Lord never leaves us nor forsake us, read below:

Heb_13:5  Set your way of life without money-loving, being satisfied with present things; for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,” never! Deut. 31:6

Another part on this verse that strike me is the fact that the Lord advised of ten days of afflictions. These ten days put me to think, why the Lord mentioned those ten days in a specific manner?  If we go back in history, we will be able to notice that between the End of the First Century and all away to the end of the Second Century there were a total of ten Roman Emperors. Let see them one by one in a list:

Name Succession Reign / AD Time in Office
Trajan Caesar Marcvs Vlpivs Nerva Traianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Nerva Jan/98 – Aug/117 19 yrs 7 mths
Hadrian Caesar Pvblivs Aelivs Traianvs Hadrianvs Avgvstvs Adopted and Heir of Trajan Aug/117 – Jul/138 21 yrs
Antoninus Pius Caesar Titvs Aelivs Hadrianvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Pivs Adopted and Heir of Hadrian Jul/138 – Mar/161 22yrs 7 mths
Marcus Aurelius Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Adopted son/son-in-law and Heir of Antoninus Pius and

Co-Emperor with Lucius Verus until 169

Mar/161 – Mar/180 19 yrs
Lucius Verus Caesar Lvcivs Avrelivs Vervs Avgvstvs Adopted son Heir of Antoninus Pius and son-in-lawof Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor with Marcus Aurelius until his death Mar/161 – Mar/169 8 yrs
Commodus Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Commodvs Antoninvs Avgvstvs Natural son of Marcus Aurelius; Co-Emperor from 177 ?/177 – Dec/192 15 yrs
Pertinax Caesar Pvblivs Helvivs Pertinax Avgvstvs Proclaimed by the Praetorian Guard Jan/193 – Mar/193 3 mths
Didius Julianus Caesar Marcvs Didivs Severvs Ivlianvs Avgvstvs Won auction by the Praetorian Guard for the position of Emperor Mar/193 – Jun/193 2 mths – 4 days

(65 Days)

Septimius Severus Caesar Lvcivs Septimivs Severvs Pertinax Avgvstvs Seized power with the Support of the Pannonian Legions Apr/193 – Feb/211 17 yrs 10 mths
Caracalla Caesar Marcvs Avrelivs Severvs Antoninvs Pivs Avgvstvs Son of Septimius Severus; Co-Emperor with Severus from 198; with Severus and Geta from 209 until Feb 211; Co-Emperor with Geta until Dec 211 ?/198 – Apr/217 19 yrs

Emperors Timeline 2nd Century (Click on this link to see a timeline of the Second Century Roman Emperors).

(Rev 2:11)  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. The one overcoming will not at all be hurt by the second death.

As it was with the first assembly, the Lord tells us to pay attention to this message of this assembly, because it is not particular to them but to all of the believers in Christ.  Also it important to say that the affirmation of the Lord by explicitly saying this message is through the Holy Spirit, this is visible because the word “Spirit” is in Capital letter “S” indicative of the Third Person of the Trinity of God.

The last but not the least point to talk about is how the Lord indicates to the one overcoming this particular time will not be hurt by the second death and you might ask; what is the second death?  The Bible gives us the answer and here it is:

Rev_20:6  Blessed and holy is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

Rev_20:14  And death and hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.

Rev_21:8  But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and those having become foul, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the lying ones, their part will be in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Remember always to Pray to the Lord before and after of your Bible Study for His guidance, knowledge, wisdom and understanding on the Word and God Bless You.

This is a Timeline of Major Events during the First Century in relation to the Church of Christ.

Please Click on the below link to see the Timeline in a PDF File.

Church First Century Events PDF View

The Book of Revelation: Introduction to the Seven Assemblies

As a Review and for our benefit we will bring some important details we already cover on Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation, and these are the following:

  1. This is the only Book on the Bible that promise a Blessing to the “Reader” and also to the “Hearers”, see the following verse;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.
  1. The Book of Revelation is a Prophetic Book, read the below verse;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.
  1. For this blessing to take effect of the prophetic Book of Revelation, we must keep the things having been written, read the verse below please;
    1. Rev 1:3
  1. Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.

All these is because one reason and one reason only for the “Follower of the WAY” (The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ), … for the time is near

It is also very important to mention that the Book of Revelation is the only Book that has what is called the “Divine Outline of the Book”. This particular point can be seen in the following verse:

  1. Rev 1:19
  • (19) Write what things you saw, and what things are, and what things are about to occur after these things.
    • …things you saw… This is use in a past sentence indicative of all the Apostle John saw in chapter one of the Book of Revelation.
    • …things are… This is use in a present way, indicative of what the Apostle witness and saw in chapters 2 and 3, which is in relation to the Seven Assemblies in the area of Asia Manor which is known today as “Turkey”
  1. (Seven Assemblies Map)
  • … things are about to occur after these things…   (meta tauta)   This is expressed in a future sentence. This is indicative of the future events once the events on chapter 1 and chapter 2 and 3 (the Seven Assemblies will go through their lives as followers and believers of the Gospel of the Lord) will take place.   This also could be seen in the following verse:
    1. Rev 4:1 LITV

After these things I saw. And behold, a door being opened in Heaven! And I heard the first voice as a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what needs to happen after these things.

If we are capable to put this in perspective for everyone to see it in a visual way, just imagine a straight time line in where there is the Book of Revelation displayed in chapters by numbers and cause of time base on events of “past”, “present” and “future events”, this time line will look like this:

(Time Line of things and events base on the Divine Outline).

It is very important for us to bring to your attention the fact that in chapter 1 verse 4 it is mentioned the Holy Trinity of GOD, let’s see it:

Rev 1:4 LITV

(4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

  • It does mentioned God Almighty when is referring to … His throne…
  • The Lord Jesus as …the One who is, who was, and who is coming…
    • o This could be validated by the Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 1 and 2:
      • Joh 1:1-2 LITV
      • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      • He was in the beginning with God.
    • The Holy Spirit when it does mentioned … the seven spirits which are before His throne…
      • o Read the following verse;
        • Isa 11:2 LITV
        • And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.
          • These are known as the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit (count the underline description on the above verse)

Continuing our journey to the beginning of the Seven Assemblies (Revelation chapters 2-3) is very important to notice the Seven Assemblies during these two chapters in Revelation mentioned, unless you are in deep knowledge of the Asia Manor area and or the Middle Eastern history, you otherwise will not know these assemblies. The question remain of, Why these particular assemblies? Why more important assemblies of their time are not mentioned?   Such assemblies are the assembly of Antioch (Paul’s headquarters assemblies), the assembly of Jerusalem, the assembly of Corinth and so on. The question remains, why?

The Bible (The Word of GOD) is a collection of 66 Books written by more than 40 Authors with different backgrounds, written in 3 different languages, through a time of approximately 1500 years with a divine engineering precision in where everything has a meaning and a time. For the Followers of the Way (Jesus Christ or Lord) means that the Bible is without a doubt the Word of GOD and has a Divine Authority.

Understanding this is why the question of “why these seven assemblies” in particular and not other assembly were chosen but these.   Let’s make reference to our Seven Assemblies Map in a PDF File to refresh our memories on their location.   (Seven Assemblies Map).

  1. These seven assemblies were real geographical locations of temples and assemblies of the time.
  2. As warning or reprimand to all the assemblies, in fact the seven letters applied to all the seven assemblies. Read the following verse:
  • Rev 1:11 LITV
    • (11) saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a scroll, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.
  1. This also could be taken as a personal advised (homiletic) in order for the believer to keep him/her in the right track of the Word of God and keeping the things having been written because the “time is near”.
  • Rev 2:7 LITV
  • (7) The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. …

There is one important point of view that could very well, and in my personal and humble opinion, is the strongest of all the points mentioned, which is from a prophetic and historical point of view.

If you remember the Book of Acts is the last Book in the Bible that mentioned anything about the development and circumstances in were the assembly of the Lord went through from a historical view for about 30 years. There are some points that had been gathered with the Apostle’s epistles and letters, but many gaps exist. My believe is that these Seven Assemblies, and very specially due because the order in were they are mentioned in the Bible and only the order in were they are mentioned, tells us the rest of the story. These Seven assemblies are:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

(Time Line of the Church History base on the Seven Assemblies)

Graphical representation of the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation Comparison Table

Click on the above PDF File for you to be able to see the correlation between the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation and their parallel until the End Times.

This PDF File will help you to understand the Dragon, the Beast out of the Sea and the Beast out of the Earth

This is visual representation on a PDF File that will help you to understand the role and relation of the Dragon, the Beast out of the Sea and the Beast out of the Earth.  Just Click on the link below for you to be able to see the file.

Image description on a Diagram of the Dragon and the Beasts 1 and 2

The Book of Revelation: Chapter One

Before we start getting in depth of the Book of Revelation of the Bible, there are few simple things, we had either being indoctrinated wrongfully (in a volunteer manner or subconsciously allowing so), also in many occasions it has been a misunderstood of terms and or learned throughout generations and accepted without questions much less the repercussions of damages cause by such false interpretations.   I like to make very clear to everyone who gives me the privileged to reach you, that the ultimate Word of Truth is the Lord GOD, also during our Bible Study I will be using the LITV Translation of the Word of GOD. Many are familiar with the KJV or derivatives, but whatever you choose please go on Prayer to the Lord before hands on.

Terms to make clear for our own understanding of the Book of Revelation are as follows:

John the Apostle

  • Son of Zebedee; younger brother of James; the beloved disciple of Christ, a relative of Annas the high priest, a son of Mary the sister of Barnabas, and surnamed Mark, the father of Simon Peter.
  • The name of the Book is the Book of “Revelation”
    • It is the only book in the New Testament that is essentially “Prophetic”.
    • It is call this way because the intention of the Book of Revelation is to “reveal” to humankind the “Only Begotten Son of GOD, Jesus Christ”’ as it is said in the following verse in the Gospel of John and at the first Chapter of the Book of revelation;
    • Joh 3:16
      • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    • Rev 1:1
      • A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,
  • It is very important to notice, because many of “us”, have the tendency to call this Book “the Book of Revelations” with a plural “s” on its name; that this is far from the truth.   The name of the Book is “The Book of Revelation” as a singular unit and not a plural unit.   Read the below verse;
  • Rev 1:1-2
    • A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,
    • who testified of the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, even as many things as he saw.
  • In addition, the name of this Book and its meaning comes from the first word of the Book of Revelation itself, this is in the Greek language;
    • o ἀποκάλυψις
    • o apokalupsis
    • o ap-ok-al’-oop-sis
      • From G601; disclosure: – appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation.
      • FYI:
        • Total KJV occurrences: 18 (this is in Mathematical terms the expression of; 18= 3 x 6 or as you can see the number 666 which is also the number of the beast.)
  • This Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to humankind
  • Another term to defined before hand in a clear way are the following:
    • Jew – a member of the chosen people of GOD since the beginning of times and to whom the “Promise Land” was given. They are descendent of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who later in his life was renamed by God Himself as Israel (Gen_32:28 And He said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have wrestled with God and with men, and have prevailed.)).
      • A Jew is a member of the people and cultural community whose traditional religion is Judaism and who trace their origins through the ancient Hebrew people of Israel to Abraham.
  •  Gentile – In accordance with the Bible this is a person that is not a member of any of the family of the 12 Tribes of Israel, and when a gentile was converted to Judaism, he was called a proselyte. Cornelius (Acts 10 – 11) was the first gentile of whom we have record who came into the Christian Church without first being a proselyte to Judaism. He was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ through a series of divine manifestations both to him and to Peter. Read below;
    • Act 10:1-2
    • But a certain man, Cornelius by name, was in Caesarea, a centurion of a cohort being called Italian, one devout and fearing God, with all his house, both doing many alms to the people and praying continually to God.
    • Under the New Testament the “gentile” is any man or woman that had not accepted the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is also known as a non-believer.
  • The Church – This is the “Body of Christ” and to which, each person (either a Jew and/or gentile) becomes a New Creature thru repentance of his/her sins and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of GOD and Savior of his/her soul. Once this acknowledgement is taking place, the person is known as a “Followers of the Way”; noticed on the verses below how the word “Way” is spelled, with a capital “W” and in a singular subject…
    • Act_9:2   Saul asked from him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues, so that if he found any being of the Way, both men and women, having bound them he might bring them to Jerusalem.
    • Act_19:23 And about that time there was no little disturbance about the Way.
    • Act_24:14 But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say is a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets,
  • The believers were later on called in the city of “Antioch” Christians. See the following;
    • Act_11:26 And finding him, he brought him to Antioch. And it happened that many of them were gathered to them in the assembly a whole year. And they taught a considerable crowd. And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.

Gods Plan of Salvation  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

Bible Books Chronological Order  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

In conclusion, what we will see as a purpose of the Book of Revelation is the “unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ and what is going to be happening as a result of His unveiling”, once again please read verse one on chapter one of the Book of Revelation and you will see it very clear;

Rev 1:1

A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly. And He signified by sending through His angel to His slave, John,

Let’s see the importance of this verse on the introduction of this Book.

  1. As we said before this is the “unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ and the events that will take place after such unveiling”.
  2. Noticed the word at the end of this sentence in the verse that we are reading; “…occur quickly…”, this particular phrase is to give to the reader the extreme and most emotional feeling of urgency and readiness. In a way this phrase is an indicative of one event happening over the other without the receiver of such acts gets any opportunity of rest (+ quickly, + shortly, + speedily).
  3. Noticed also in this verse how it is important the job of the angels in the lives of the followers of the Lord. God gave the task to one of His angels to take through the spiritual world the message to His “slave” John.
    1. The definition of the word slave;
      1. A slave, bondman, man of servile condition
        1. a slave
        2. one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
        3. devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests
        4. a servant, attendant

Rev 1:2 who testified of the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ, even as many things as he saw.

  1. This verse is the resume of John the Apostle and his achievement through his ministry.  This is given not by the mouth of the Apostle but thru the declaration of the Holy Spirit in an indication of the Apostle’s dedication to the Lord’s will and desire, been the Apostle a “slave” of Jesus Christ. This is an important verse; here we see how the Lord sees each of our labor and us. Please let me make very clear, no action or doing will give to anyone without exception a free ride to Eternity, the gift of Eternity with the Lord is received by the acceptance of Him in our hearts as the only Savior of our lives. Never the less there is also important to know, once you make that step of acceptance of the Lord as your only Savior, there is in you as a Follower of the Way a responsibility to work in the field of the Gospel of the Lord by disseminating the Word of GOD, and those that accept the Word of GOD and repent thru Jesus, in you there is a responsibility to “discipleship” the lives of those new believers until they are capable to be ministers on their own in such fields as you are, and finally as a believer you must care for the needy, the widow and the orphan. See graphic below;

Job Description of a Disciple of the Lord  (Click on this link to see this PDF File)

Rev 1:3

(3) Blessed is the one reading, and those hearing the Words of this prophecy, and keeping the things having been written; for the time is near.

Since my childhood I have heard many leaders/preachers/others making reference of this verse, but I must admit even when I, myself had done the same, there are not many of them that the reference allotted to such verse is either full or partially right. It is completely clear; the Book of Revelation is the only Book of the Bible that promise a blessing. But many times over, that blessing had been said it is for the reader of such Book, when in reality the blessing promised in this Book is not only to the reader but also to the hearers of the Book. The term “reader” is in a singular term, making an incredible and interesting point that must be seeing with the spiritual eyes of the Holy Spirit, every believer must work independently on the fields of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Even when no labor will give you a free pass to Salvation / Eternity with the Lord (remember that such Gift is by Grace and Grace only), never the least, you and only you are responsible to disseminated the message of the Gospel, there will be many listening to what you saying, how you saying it, why you saying it… Most important is the fact that those who are listening will be blessed by the hearing and the hearing of the Word of GOD. Read the below verse:

  • 1Th 2:13

(13) And because of this we give thanks to God without ceasing, that having received the Word of hearing from us, you welcomed it as of God, not as a word of men, but as it is, truly the Word of God, which also works in you, the ones believing.

There is an important warning given in this verse for those that are reading and/or hearing, which is, “you must keep the things having been written”. The things having been written are not only in the Book of Revelation but is indicative of the things written on the Word of GOD, this is very clear because the moment that is speaking to the reader and the hearers is does specifically stated, “…of this prophecy…” but this specification is not so then after. It does specifically gives another warning as an ultimatum, said that the “…time is near”.

Rev 1:4

(4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

In verse 4 is very noticeable the speaker is changing, from the Holy Spirit to John the Apostle, from here on the Apostle is writing to the “seven assemblies in Asia”.

Before we continue with our study, once again we must establish the clarity of some terms of which, we as followers had been conditioned to accept without questioning neither their definitions nor their roots. These terms are as follow:

  1. Assembly
    1. G1577
    2. ἐκκλησία
    3. ekklēsia
    4. ek-klay-see’-ah
  1. a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly
  2. an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating
  • the assembly of the Israelites
  1. any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously in a Christian sense an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
  2. a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake
  3. those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body
  • the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth
  • the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven Synonym : See Definition5897
  1. from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):-assembly, church. see GREEK for 1537 see GREEK for 2564

Many versions of the Bible use in this verse the term “church” and even though, we (believers) have been told it is an acceptable translation of the term, there is my personal experience; such translation is far from it. If we look closely to the verse composition, it is simple to see the fact that it is talking not about a church, as we know it on today’s society (by this means a group of believers under a roof singing and listening a preacher exhortation/message), but instead about a “public gathering”. I like to make reference to “Early Church History by Verlyn D. Verbrugge; Zondervan Quick reference Library” in page 13 indicates that the public gathering of the “Followers of the Way” were mainly in homes and in some instances in synagogues as is it presumably due to the general believe of the time that Christianity was a sect from Judaism (this is paraphrasing the content). This took place around the end of the Second Century or even further into the beginning of the third century AD.

John continues with the normal salutation to the reader and hearers of the Book. During his salutation he (John) also included the name of the “One” and with that unique title he also address the different times and space known to man, past, present and future.   John does it in a way in were the present is at the beginning of the statement, “from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming…” . This is due to the fact that God does not want his people to worry about their lives based on their past experiences, nor to worry about the future of them either. He (GOD) is the Only Living God and as is stated on his Word, He has everything under His care and plan for His people:

  • Heb_13:5 Set your way of life without money-loving, being satisfied with present things; for He has said, “Not at all will I leave you, not at all will I forsake you,” never! Deut. 31:6

When the Apostle refers to the “One”, the Holy Spirit is talking through John about the Lord Jesus Christ. Noticed how the term “One” is spelled out in the middle sentence, on a capital “O”, this is distinctive to a proper name.   This proper name belongs to non other than the “Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ”.   This particular observation also help you to understand the point of the Trilogy in GOD, but this just to mention it because that could be a study by itself.

[It is very important to indicates that in many translations, this is over looked (reason to such omission could be the translator effort to accommodating the text to the particular time of the reader to use the translation, or whatever reason might be), it is clear this is omitted in many translations. If that is the case on your translation, please try to find an “LITV” translation of the Bible for your personal use. My advise to the serious Bible reader download e-Sword, here is the llink ( http://www.e-sword.net/ ). This is a great source for your Bible Study and has many translations in many languages to fit your needs and demand.   Rick Meyers wrote it and it is my main source for my Bible Studies such at this one]. Let me demonstrate this to you by using the same verse but in different translations such as the “LITV”, the version used is inside the parenthesis, remember we are using the following verse “Rev. 1:4”. Do you notice the difference? :

  1. (LEB) John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from the one who is and the one who was and the one who is coming, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
  2. (LITV) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;
  3. (MKJV) John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is coming; and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;
  4. (Murdock) John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and quietude, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Let’s continue our Bible Study on “Rev 1:4”:

Rev 1:4

  • (4) John to the seven assemblies in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, and from the seven spirits which are before His throne;

I like to bring your attention to the rest of the verse, which non-the less is as interesting as the rest, “…and from the seven spirits which are before His throne…”, on this particular expression many believers/leaders/preachers/and what not, many even do not even talk about it, but those that do so think this is referring to the seven angels of the seven assemblies and just a few know this is actually talking about the “Third Person of the Trilogy, The Holy Spirit”. J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 8th series, p. 156. Also makes this observation in regard to this point. We should look the following verse in the Book of Isaiah:

  • Isa 11:1-2

(1) And a Shoot goes out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch will bear fruit out of his roots.

  • (2) And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him; He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Jehovah.

Here the Scripture is talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, but interesting enough, in verse 2 indicates several qualities, which also are known as the “seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit”. Let’s see them all in a simple lay out:

  1. …The Spirit of Jehovah shall rest on Him…
  2. …The Spirit of Wisdom…
  3. …The Spirit of understanding…
  4. …The Spirit of Counsel…
  5. …The Spirit of Power…
  6. …The Spirit of Knowledge…
  7. …The Spirit of Fear of Jehovah…

This was the way the Holy Spirit was known before the “Grace” or “Redemption thru the Blood of Jesus on the Cross”. Noticed in “Rev 1:4” also indicates that these “seven spirit are before His throne” which is also a very clear indication of the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Another observation I like to make, is the fact that many believers/preachers/leaders/and what not, they think the number 7 is the number of perfection or a divine number, but not so. The number seven “7” is the number of completion, for example:

  • Seven days of creation
  • Seventh day was the day God rested
  • Seven Angels and Trumpets
  • Seven Seals
  • Seven assemblies
  • Seven stars

And so on, as you see, you as a believer might come to the conclusion that the number seven is “divine” in nature, but read the below verse and you will notice it is not so, but instead, the meaning of “completion”, let see these verses;

  • Rev_12:3 And another sign was seen in the heavens. And, behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns! And on his heads were seven diadems,
  • Rev_13:1 And I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten diadems, and on its heads names of blasphemy.

I am sure you will agree with me that the number seven is not a divine number but instead a number of completions, we might say perfection, and whether is Heavenly inspired or not.

Rev 1:5-6

(5) even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood,

(6) and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.

On verse 5 The Holy Spirit through John the Apostle, is recognizing some titles that our Lord Jesus is entitle to, let’s see them one by one:

  • 1) The Faithful Witness
    1. Isa_55:4 Behold, I gave Him a Witness to peoples, a Leader and Commander of peoples.
    2. 3Jn_1:12 Witness has been borne to Demetrius by all, and by the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true.
    3. Rev_3:14 And to the angel of the assembly of Laodicea, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God:
  • 2) The First-born out of the dead
    1. Col_1:18 And He is the Head of the body, the assembly, who is the Beginning, the First-born out of the dead, that He be preeminent in all things;
  • 3) The Ruler of the kings of the earth
    1. Dan_8:25 And also through his skill he will make deceit succeed in his land. And he will lift himself up in his heart, and be at ease; he shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Ruler of rulers, but he shall be shattered without a hand.

He Loves us and washed us from our sins, verse 5 could be seeing in the following verse:

  • 1) Joh 3:16
    1. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • 2) Rom_3:25
    1. whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness through the passing over of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,
  • 3) Rom_5:9
    1. Much more then, being justified now by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him.

Verse 6 said that we are made kings and priests to God, let see that in the following verses:

  • 1) Rev_5:10
    1. and made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign over the earth.

Rev 1:7

(7) “Behold, He comes with the clouds,” and “every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen. Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10

It is without a doubt, the one who is the subject in this verse is the Lord Jesus Christ, but before we start to see how and why He is coming with clouds, there is a great deal to remember that He also left with clouds, let see that in the following verse;

  • Act_1:9
    1. And saying these things, as they looked on, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him from their sight

So what better way to coming back but the same way He was taken, brought up by the clouds:

  • Luk_21:27
    1. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and much glory. Dan. 7:13

Jesus Christ Himself sited the above verse and He is not a liar…

On verse 7 there is a portion that many, in today’s generation, think they know exactly what it mean:

  1. “every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen.

Young generation can’t understand their lives without what is call “world wide web”, this is what allowed anyone on one part the world to connect with anyone around the other part of the world, whether is by video/text/or any other media created with such purpose. Having this in mind, many think what the Bible is referring to in this portion is about such capabilities. It might be so, but to be honest, I really doubt it. The human mind is so limited specially in regard to the spiritual world in were God, as in every dimension, is the One who control every wave and every thing that in such dimensions exist. Please remember that for God, there is not such thing as Time/Space/Matter etc.

Please read the below verse:

  • Eph 3:18
    1. that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height,

Is quite difficult to put this image in perspective, but I will do my best to help you to see such incredible image of a man given him/herself to what I call “The Fourth Dimensional Model of a Man of GOD”. Please understand that God is not limited to any dimension at all, or to any number of dimensions for that matter, nor I am saying that God is either the fourth dimension or nothing of that nature, absolutely not. Here is a simple graphic to illustrate visually the four dimensions that the Apostle Paul is referring to:

The Four Dimensions of The Man of God  (Click on this link to see this PDF File and the below file link is amazing)

( Here is what is call a “Tesarrac”, which is a square in a fourth-dimensional level.)

8-cell

This image above described, will help you appreciate how a Christian is when he /she has a personal relationship with the Lord.  Nothing will pull you out of Him…

In other words, the man that is dedicated to God and God’s work, nothing else is either in or out that will pull him/her from the magnificent power of His Grace.

Going back to our point on verse 7 that said the following; “““every eye will see Him, and the ones who pierced” Him, and all the tribes of the earth “will wail on account of Him.” Yes, Amen.”.   This particular verse is an incredible statement of power from our God and Lord, especially when mentioned in a very specific way those who pierced Him. See that the statement is not to the future generations only, but to all generations and all humankind. The very dramatic and descriptive way in were the Holy Spirit through John the apostle express, “all the tribes of the earth will wail”… This action of wailing is a painful deep rooted to the core of the bone scream.

Rev 1:8

(8) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, says the Lord, the One who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.

This verse is always brought up by many preachers/leaders/ministers/believers you name it, but it is interesting to know that in accordance with the Hebrew customs the name of Yahweh could not even being pronounce (there were no vowels capable to give a sound), could not either to be written, it was against the Hebrew customs. Also there was a particular custom when the “scribes” were writing the Word of God the name of God, “Elohym” was written with the first letter of their alphabet (א ) (Alef) and last letter (ת) (Tav) at the end of the name indicative of the beginning and the end, but when it was translated in the Greek Language there was no letter such as (ת) so they used their last letter on the Greek Alphabet which is Omega (W/w).   The name of Elohim is the name given to God Himself as the Creator of all, but the Name “YHWH” is when the God of Israel is closest to the humankind in demonstrating His attributes of kindness and love toward His creation/the humankind. There was so until God came as the form of Christ the Savior. Let’s see Rev 21:6 in different translations to demonstrate my point:

Rev 21:6

(6) And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. To the one thirsting, I will freely give of the fountain of the Water of Life.

Rev 21:6

(6) AndG2532 he saidG2036 unto me,G3427 It is done.G1096 IG1473 amG1510 (G3588) AlphaG1 andG2532 (G3588) Omega,G5598 theG3588 beginningG746 andG2532 theG3588 end.G5056 IG1473 will giveG1325 unto him that is athirstG1372 ofG1537 theG3588 fountainG4077 of theG3588 waterG5204 of lifeG2222 freely.G1432

Rev 21:6

(6) καιG2532 CONJ ειπενG3004 V-2AAI-3S μοιG1473 P-1DS γεγονανG1096 V-2RAI-3P εγωG1473 P-1NS | | [ειμι]G1510 V-PAI-1S | τοG3588 T-NSN αλφαG1 N-LI καιG2532 CONJ τοG3588 T-NSN ωG5598 N-LI ηG3588 T-NSF αρχηG746 N-NSF καιG2532 CONJ τοG3588 T-NSN τελοςG5056 N-NSN εγωG1473 P-1NS τωG3588 T-DSM διψωντιG1372 V-PAP-DSM δωσωG1325 V-FAI-1S εκG1537 PREP τηςG3588 T-GSF πηγηςG4077 N-GSF τουG3588 T-GSN υδατοςG5204 N-GSN τηςG3588 T-GSF ζωηςG2222 N-GSF δωρεανG1432 ADV

Rev 21:6

(6) ויאמר אלי היה נהיתה אני האלף והתו הראש והסוף אני אתן לצמא ממעין מים חיים חנם׃

In the verses above, I like to show you that even when in many translations this verse of Revelation 21:6 has the letters Alpha and Omega spelled out, they are not in the originals.   When it does talks about the Alpha and the Omega, there is a beginning already known from point a to point z (speaking in a figurative point of view), in other words, we know all about the beginning on the Word of God, the letter (A/a) “Alpha” is spelled out in the original document in the Greek language (see this fantastic event in αλφαG1 N-LI above in the Greek translation), but when is concerning the Ending of Times as is written, because this event had not taking active action yet the symbol (W/w) appears in the Word of God on its original text and not spelled out as a word “Omega”, until the moment this events will take active and complete action by the Lord of lords Jesus Christ the Savior, then and only then will be spelled out.

Rev 1:9-10

(9) I, even your brother John, and co-sharer in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, came to be in the island being called Patmos because of the Word of God, and because of the witness of Jesus Christ.

(10) I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

On verses 9 and 10 John the Apostle is given a clear cut declaration of his actions, making sure of his emotional and physical state of mind, indicating that there is not a mental or sycophantic disturbance, nor a physical debility nor anything other than his own human power and authority on his own recollections of vision and acts declared by him. He is also showing that he is in power of his own actions and that no one is in any way shape or form forcing him to make such statements of his vision. He also declared the location of this vision, the Island of Patmos.   Interesting enough John said very clear the reason of him to be in such Island is due to his believes, of him to be a witness of the Lord and because of the Word of God.

During the Roman political power, it was considered an illegal act to declare anything to the public and even on privates meetings against the political power of the Roman engine, the ruler at the time of John the Apostle’s exile was the emperor “Domitian”. It was a normal practice to exile those who in one way or another were violators of such actions.   Traditionally it is known that the apostle John was exile to the Island of Patmos due to his believes and predications of the Word of God (this is very clear in verse 9) it was in Patmos where the Apostle had his vision. This was one of three islands in the Sporades area. This is a very clear demonstration of the validity of the Word of God especially if you read the below verse:

  • Rom 8:28
    1. But we know that to the ones loving God all things work together for good, to those being called according to purpose;

As you see, even when John the apostle was exile, the Lord used such circumstances to make His will and power noticed, not just in John’s life but transcending through the generations for us to be able to prepare for our encounter with the Lord.

Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies.  PDF File.  Double Click on this link.
Illustrated Map of the Patmos Island and the Seven Assemblies. PDF File. Double Click on this link.

Rev 1:11

(11)   saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; also, What you see, write in a scroll, and send to the seven assemblies of Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

The beginning of this verse is a very powerful introduction of the Only Living God, noticed how God use something that the human mind can identified with as a point of departure, to a point of end, without using the word eternity. God is expressing the only limitation the humankind could relay to, that is “time”. God is not subject to time, nor limited to anything known to us, nor to anything not known by us, but because this is the best way in were the human mind can realized the power of the All Mighty, He Himself give that point as a point of reference to the humankind.

We already cover the reference to the Alpha (A/a) and to which we must add that the numerical value in the Greek alphabet of this letter is one (1) and coincidentally is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and the Omega (W/w) which is the letter number 24 in the Greek alphabet, but a numeric value of 800, the real direct translation to Omega is “The Great O”. You can always make reference to the earlier graphic of the fourth dimension of the man of God mentioned earlier.

The Lord continued commanding the apostle to write whatever he sees and most importantly to send it to the “Seven Assemblies of Asia”. Here is when things take a little bit of a turn. This particular turn will be seeing and analyzed by all of us in the next two chapters. Once we start to do so, I will respectfully suggest hanging in there because it could be a bumpy ride. For now I will like to mention these seven assemblies by name:

  1. Ephesus
  2. Smyrna
  3. Pergamos
  4. Thyatira
  5. Sardis
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Laodicea

We will go into details in regard of why these seven assemblies and not any other, even when there bigger and more prominent assemblies in the area, such as the assembly of Antioch (the headquarter of Christianity) or for that matter the assembly of Jerusalem. Or you might ask why in the Asia area and not in Judea or anywhere else?

Seven Assemblies Map  (By Clicking on this link you will be able to see the Seven assemblies and also the Patmos Island in where the Apostle John was exile.  The arrows indicate the order in were the Lord mentioned the Assemblies by name.)

Rev 1:12-20

(12) And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.

(13) And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, having been clothed to the feet, and having been girded with a golden girdle at the breasts.

(14) And the hairs of His head were white as white wool, as snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire;

(15) and His feet like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace; and His voice as a sound of many waters;

(16) and having in His right hand seven stars; and a sharp, two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face shining as the sun in its power.

(17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet, as dead. And He put His right hand on me, saying to me, Do not fear. I am the First and the Last,

(18) and the Living One; and I became dead; and, behold, I am living forever and ever. Amen. And I have the keys to hell, and of death.

(19)   Write what things you saw, and what things are, and what things are about to occur after these things.

(20) The mystery of the seven stars which you saw on My right, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, and the seven lampstands you saw are seven assemblies.

From 12 through the 20th verse there are many important points to speak about:

  1. John the apostle is specifically expressing he hears an audible voice, to make sure that the readers understand this is not from his imagination.
  2. The Apostle mentioned for the first time what he described as seven “lampstands
    1. These lampstands, as the Apostle described them, are made of gold.
  1. The lampstand are the seven assemblies, one lampstand for each assembly. We know that the believer is the messenger of the “Light” which is Christ. See verse below:
    1. Eph_5:8 for you then were darkness, but are now light in the Lord; walk as children of light.
    2. Eph_5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are clearly revealed, for everything having been revealed is light.
    3. Col_1:12   giving thanks to the Father, who has made us fit for a share of the inheritance of the saints in light,
    4. 1Th_5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of day; we are not of night, nor of darkness.
    5. 1Ti_6:16 the only One having immortality, living in light that cannot be approached, whom no one of men saw, nor can see; to whom be honor and everlasting might. Amen.
    6. 2Ti_1:10 but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel,

Each of us has the responsibility to give by grace what by grace we had received; we are the lampstand and not the light that shines through, so any lampstand could be replaced but not the light;

  • Act_20:24 But I make account of nothing, nor do I hold my life precious to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, fully to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

These lampstand were made of “Gold

  • Gold Valued and used because of its rarity, beauty, and workability. It can be melted without harm and is extremely malleable. Thus it can be used for cast objects, inlays, or overlays.
    1. These characteristics are the ones that should exist in every one who truly believes and is a “Follower of the Way” Jesus our Lord.

The Apostle also described what is known as “One like the Son of Man”, this is also the same description found in Daniel 7:1 and in Rev 14:14, let’s read the verses:

  • Dan_7:13 I was looking in the night visions. And behold! One like the Son of Man came with the clouds of the heavens. And He came to the Ancient of Days. And they brought Him near before Him.
  • Rev_14:14 And I saw; and behold, a white cloud and on the cloud One sitting like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

John the Apostle is also describing the Lord in an amazing incredible way, with a great detail and power.   It says He has “…seven stars in His right hand; and a sharp two-edge sword proceeding out of His mouth…

  1. The seven stars
    1. These seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies, keep your eyes and ears open to the description that is given from the Lord to John the apostle of what the seven stars are, once again “…the seven stars are angels of the seven assemblies…”.         We as readers normally start to assuming based on what we call common sense, this part of the description never stay that the seven stars are seven angels, one for each of the seven assemblies, and of course it might be so, but it also might be that they all work as a one when it comes to the assemblies, whether one worked on one assembly or all work on one assembly, not for me to know but one way or the other these are seven angels with a lot to deal with. Also there are many speculations about these particular angels to be the human leaders/pastors/ministers and so on, others think these angels are actually heavenly angels that work in favor of the assemblies during their ministry on earth, don’t know. I can’t tell now for sure because as the word of the Lord says:
  1. 1Co_13:12 For now we see through a mirror in dimness, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will fully know even as I also was fully known.

The Apostle also indicated of the two-edge sword coming out of His mouth, and we all know how Paul describes the Word of God:

  • Eph_6:17   Also, take “the helmet of salvation,” and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God; Isa. 59:17 LXX-Isa. 11:4; MT-Isa. 49:2; LXX and MT-Hos. 6:5
  • Heb_4:12 For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart;
  • Isa 59:21
    • As for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Jehovah: My Spirit who is on you, and My Words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your seed, or out of the mouth of your seed’s seed, from now on and forever, says Jehovah.
  • Isa 11:4
    • But He shall judge the poor in righteousness, and shall decide rightly for the meek of the earth. And He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and He shall cause the wicked to die with the breath of His lip.
  • Isa 49:2
    • And He made My mouth like a sharp sword; He hid Me in the shadow of His hand, and made Me a polished arrow; He hid Me in His quiver;
  • Hos 6:5
    • So I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the Words of My mouth; and your judgments have been as the light that goes forth.

If this Bible Study was helping you or any one that you know, please leave your comments and or send your email comments.  Also disseminate this Bible Study to educate others.  God Bless You and keep reading.

Daniel and the End Times

Daniel 10 is just an introduction to the chapters 11 and 12.  These two chapters are so precise that many skeptics and other non-believers experts indicate that there is no other way for these chapters to be written other than after the events and many go even further, saying that there is no other way other than no just being written after the events but also that the writer was an actual eye witness.  We (The Believers and followers of the WAY, that is the Lord Jesus Christ) know that there is no such a thing but the total power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Daniel.

If we go with those skeptics thinking we will find out that there is a few details that will not allow such argument to be valid, for example:

If in fact these chapters were written after the fact (as the skeptics claim) they were written after the Septuagint translation (this translation was about 270 BC), but there is no argument that the Book of Daniel is part of the Old Testament and as a result of such, the Book of Daniel was included on the Books for the translators that had the task to bring the “Writings” from the Hebrew to the Greek language.  These were new generations of Hebrews born and raised on a non-native land that could not speak nor write or read their native language but Greek, enormous Hebrew population in this part of the World.  This action is not a singular manifestation of this time and location, this is also seen in our time, for example, here in the USA the Spanish speakers population had force the English speaking population to translate documents and laws to Spanish language, but the new generation of such Spanish speakers born and raised in the USA losses the ability of their parents language.

Many of these events on this chapter are in fact subsequent to the period of the Septuagint translation.

Drop of Knowledge:

(For you to have an idea of what is happening on the other side of the world not known at this point by the Europeans and this other half of the world is that the “Maya” civilization is taking shape in a land later known as Mexico, event verified by carbon tests in 1956 AD). The History of the World Mayan Empire (Double click for you to see the Image that will allow you to see the World Empires development on the beginning of the century including the world not known at the time, the “New World” later known as the American Continent).

In an interesting way we must understand that in this particular chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel there is a historical narrative of events (for convenience let’s say from verse 1 throughout verses 20), and of course a mix of historical with a connotations of a futuristic events to the end times in the middle and end part of the chapter (let’s say verse 21 through maybe verse 35 and from there on the end of the chapter are verses related to the end times).

(Dan 11:1)  And I, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I was standing for a supporter and for a fortress for him.

This verse is the end of chapter 10, which is the end in where the Angel is speaking to Daniel in regard to the Angel’s support to the King Darius from the Medes. As we saw in the previous chapters.

Daniel’s Timeline Based on Chapters on PDF (Double this link for you to be able to see the image in a PDF File)

(Dan 11:2)  And now I will declare the truth to you: Behold! Three kings shall stand up in Persia; and the fourth shall be rich in all greater riches. And when he is strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the kingdom of Greece.

(Ezr 4:6)  And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

(Est 1:1)  And it happened, in the days of Ahasuerus (he is Ahasuerus who reigned from India even to Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty seven provinces)

(Est 1:2)  in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom in Shushan the palace,

Ahasuerus also known as Xerxes I is the king here in verse 2 Chapter 11 in the Book Daniel the kings that preceded him were

1.      Cambyses

2.      Bardiya

3.      Darius I

Xerxes I lead a 2 million men Army, which were on a training for a period of four years for this battle, against the Greeks forces, and even though he (Xerxes I) was defeated on the battle, still causing to the Greeks a great deal of moral, financial and political devastation.

(Dan 11:3)  And a mighty king shall stand up and shall rule with great authority and do according to his will.

This is of course Alexander The Great.

(Dan 11:4)  And when he stands up his kingdom shall be shattered and shall be divided to the four winds of the heavens, and not to his posterity, nor according to his authority with which he ruled. For his kingdom shall be pulled up and given to others besides these.

During these verses we could say it is in regard to Alexander the Great, and incredible leader that conquered the entire known world known at that time.  It is very important to mention that the Battle in where Xerxes I and the Greeks were involved in, as we mentioned before was a major trigger of bitterness for Alexander to battled the Persians.  Alexander the Great die in a mysterious manner as a young man in his early thirties (maybe thirty two years old or a little bit later) as a result of what was believe an infectious disease.

After his death, his kingdom was divided among his four generals, not because Alexander did not had any descendent, but because the descendent of Alexander were kill before they were able to take over power.

Alexander The Great Territory divided among his Generals  (Double Click on this link to be able to see the image in a PDF File)

These are the four winds of heavens:

Ø      Ptolemy = South (Egypt)

Ø      Seleucus = North (Syria/Palestine)

Ø      Antigonus

Ø      Perdiccas

For the purpose of our Bible Study we will concentrate on Ptolemy and Seleucus Alexander The Great Territory divided among his Generals  (Double click in this link to be able to see the image in a PDF File).

There is a continue struggle for power between Ptolemy and Seleucus and as a result of their geographical location, Israel is place in between both, suffering the consequences of their struggle for power.

(Dan 11:5)  And the king of the south shall be strong. And one of his rulers, even he will be strong on him, and he will rule. His rule shall be a great rule.

(Dan 11:6)  And at the end of the years they shall join together, and the king of the south’s daughter shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement. But she shall not keep the power of the arm. And he will not stand, nor his arm. But she and those who brought her shall be given up, also her begetter and her supporter in these times.

(Dan 11:7)  But the shoots of her roots will stand in his place, and he shall come to the army and will enter into the fortress of the king of the north. And he will act against them and will show strength.

(Dan 11:8)  And he will also bring their gods with their casted images, with silver and gold vessels of their possessions, into exile to Egypt. And for years he will stand away from the king of the north.

(Dan 11:9)  And the king of the south will come into his kingdom and will return to his own land.

(Dan 11:10)  But his sons shall be stirred up and shall gather a multitude of great forces. And one certainly shall come and overflow and pass through. And he will return to his fortress and be stirred up.

(Dan 11:11)  And the king of the south will be bitter and will go out and fight with him, with the king of the north. And he shall raise a great multitude, but the multitude shall be given into his hand.

(Dan 11:12)  And having carried away the host, his heart will be lifted up. And he will cause myriads to fall, but he shall not be strong.

(Dan 11:13)  For the king of the north shall return and raise a greater host than the former. And at the end of times, years, coming he shall come with a great army and with much equipment.

(Dan 11:14)  And in those times many shall stand up against the king of the south. And the sons of the violent ones of your people shall rise up to establish the vision, but they shall stumble.

(Dan 11:15)  And the king of the north shall come and pour out a siege mound and seize a fortified city. And the arms of the south shall not stand, nor his choice people, for there will be no firmness to stand.

(Dan 11:16)  But he who comes against him will do as he desires, and none shall stand before him. And he shall stand in the glorious land, and destruction shall be in his hand.

(Dan 11:17)  And he shall set his face to go in with the might of all his kingdom, and upright ones with him; so he shall do. And he shall give the daughter of women to him, to destroy it. But she shall not stand, nor be for him.

(Dan 11:18)  And he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many. But a ruler shall make cease his reproach for him, but his reproach shall return to him.

(Dan 11:19)  And he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but he will stumble and fall and shall not be found.

(Dan 11:20)  And one who passes over a tax exacter shall stand in his place, for the glory of the kingdom. But within a few days he will be shattered, but not in anger and not in battle.

The woman here in verse 6 is Berenice.  Antiochus made peace with Ptolemy II, ending the Second Syrian War. Antiochus repudiated his wife Laodicea I and exiled her to the city of Ephesus.  To seal the treaty, he married Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice and received an enormous dowry.  Later in history there is another player call Antiochus III also known as the “Antiochus the Great” and as a perspective there is Antiochus IV, and I mentioned this particular because it is Antiochus the IV the one that will have to do with our Bible reading and not the one that the history mentioned as “Antiochus the Great”.

This is a period of around 125 to 130 years of war between powers.

From verse 5 all away throughout verse 20 in the chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel it is expressed the struggle for power among these two kingdoms of the King of the North and the South.

In verse 17 we see also another woman mentioned, and this woman is Ptolemy XII’s daughter “Cleopatra”.  Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father, Ptolemy XII, and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler.  As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne.  She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.

Here is where Antiochus IV take action and seized the throne by force and there is again a power struggle.

During this time a great power is emerging and will be known  as the Roman Empire.  This Roman Empire is building a great navy and is becoming an incredible part of this struggle for power.

Roman Empired Beginnings (Double click on the link for you to be able to see the image on a PDF File)

(Dan 11:21)  And a despised one shall stand up on his place, and they shall not give to him the honor of the king. But he shall come in while at ease and make strong the kingdom by intrigues.

(Dan 11:22)  And the forces of the overflow shall be swept from before his face, and they will be shattered, and also the ruler of a covenant.

There is believed by Scholars that the person that is referred here in verse 21 throughout 23 is a High Priest from Jerusalem named Onias III.  This priest was killed around 170 to 171 BC.

(Dan 11:23)  And after they join themselves to him, he will practice deceit; for he shall come and shall be strong with a few people.

(Dan 11:24)  He will go in safely, even into the rich places of the province. And he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers. He shall plunder and spoil and scatter goods among them. And he shall devise his plots against the strongholds, even for a time.

(Dan 11:25)  And he will stir up his power and his heart against the king of the south with a great army. And the king of the south will be stirred up to battle with a great and very mighty army. But he shall not stand, for they will devise plots against him.

(Dan 11:26)  Yea, those who eat his food shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow. And many will fall down slain.

(Dan 11:27)  And both of them, the kings, shall have in their hearts to do evil, and they will speak lies at one table. But it will not prosper, for the end still shall be at the appointed time.

(Dan 11:28)  And he will return to his land with great wealth. And his heart shall be against the holy covenant. And he will act, and he shall return to his land.

(Dan 11:29)  At the appointed time he will return and come against the south. But it will not be as the former or as the latter.

(Dan 11:30)  For the Kittim ships will come against him. And he will be pained and turn back and be furious against the holy covenant. And he will act, and he will return and heed the forsakers of the holy covenant.

(Dan 11:31)  And forces will stand away from him, and they will profane the sanctuary, the fortress. And they shall remove the regular sacrifice, and they will place the abomination that desolates.

If you like to see more details about these event please read 1 Maccabees chapter 1 and 2 (the Maccabees are books included in the Apocrypha books and in which is treated of Jewish history under the Maccabean princes).

During this struggle of power, the ones that bring equilibrium to the battle is the Roman’s fleet, which coincidentally is a power that is commencing to emerge in the area and is the kingdom with the most powerful naval fleet at the time.  The naval fleet is located in what is known today as Cyprus, the name that is given here in this chapter is “Kittim”, located at the Mediterranean Sea (known then as Great or Upper Sea).  Antiochus III is humiliated by the Roman fleet commander, in where the Commander of the Fleet draw a circle on the sand and ask to Antiochus III to decided what he was going to do before he (the fleet commander) will step out of the circle, and as a result of this humiliation, Antiochus III bring all his fury against Jerusalem including the practice of idolatry and location of his idols in the Holy of Holies, desecrating the Temple.

Scale of the Holy of Holies   Roman Empire Beginnings  (Double click on this link for you to be able to see the image on a PDF File)

After the Maccabean revolt the power is brought back to the Jewish people and the Temple is re-dedicated on the third anniversary of the revolt, and what is known today as “Hanukkah”.  Please read below:

(Joh 10:22)  And the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter.

(Dan 11:32)  And he will defile by flatteries those who do evil against the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will work.

Here is prophesied the victory of the People of God on the Maccabees revolt.

(Dan 11:33)  And those who understand among the people will instruct many, yet they will stumble by the sword and by flame, by exile and spoil for days.

(Dan 11:34)  And when they shall stumble, they will be helped with a little help. But many will join them with hypocrisy.

(Dan 11:35)  And many of those who understand shall stumble, to refine and to purge them, and to make white to the time of the end. For it is yet for the appointed time.

From here on, that is from verses 36 through 45 the way in where the chapter is related to the reader is in a way that does not fit history yet, and appear to be for the end times.  Up to verse 35 the scholars agreed that it is so précised to history events that the only way this was written was by after the facts and as an eyewitness of the events, but we know that was not the case, I must say.  This was inspired by the Holy Spirit to Daniel the Man of God.

Once again, from verse 36 and through out verse 45 the way the vocabulary is constructed and used it is as if it was for the end times and in no way for the moment in where history had been written.

(Dan 11:36)  And the king shall do according to his will. And he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god; he shall even speak marvelous things against the God of gods and shall prosper until the fury is completed. For that which is decreed shall be done.

(Dan 11:37)  He shall not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women; yea, he will not come to any god. For he shall magnify himself above all.

In these verse there is clear view that the one who is described in these verse is the one of the end times, as we will see in the below references:

(Rev 13:6)  And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those tabernacling in Heaven.

(2Th 2:2)  for you not to be quickly shaken in the mind, nor to be disturbed, neither through a spirit, nor through speech, nor through letter, as through us, as if the Day of Christ has come.

(2Th 2:3)  Do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because that Day will not come unless first comes the falling away, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

(2Th 2:4)  the one opposing and exalting himself over everything being called God, or object of worship, so as for him “to sit in the temple of God” as God, setting forth himself, that he is God. Dan. 11:36; Eze. 28:2

(Eze 28:2)  Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, So says the Lord Jehovah, Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas; yet you are a man, and not God, though you give your heart as the heart of gods.

There are few things we must bring to a clear view on this particular passage, and you as a reader must understand that when you read this passage you must read it and see it from a Jewish point of view only.

Lets start with some of those points… he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god…  This is very interesting because here the word “god” is used in lower case, that is that the figure here indicated will not allowed any idol to take his place, does that sound familiar to you?  Remember that the anti-Christ (means the impostor) will try to replace and duplicate God in every way and as a result of it he (the impostor) will not share his limited glory.   … he shall even speak marvelous things against the God of gods…  In this part of the verse 36 the word “God” is in Capital letter, which means that is referring to the “Only Living God”, and as we read before in the Book of Revelation Chapter 13 verse 6 that will be a power given to him (the impostor) by God, but not because the impostor have such authority on his own, I must make that clear.  … and shall prosper until the fury is completed…  This means that there will be limited time to the impostor’s power.

In verse 37 in Chapter 11 of the Book of Daniel, there is a very important point that I like to speak about and that is the following, … He shall not regard the God of his fathers…  It does say that he (the impostor) shall not regard the God (Capital Letter as for the “Only Living God”) of his fathers.  That phrase makes me think that the impostor is either from a Jewish branch or a descendent of such people.  With this statement I will not like to alarm or make uncomfortable anyone, but I am only expressing what I feel is the interpretation of this passage from my point of view.  Remember that the only people in the history of human kind that expressed in such ways were and are the Jewish people.

There is also another part of this verse 37 that intrigues me, and of course please remember that you must read and see this chapter from a Jewish point of view only and not as a gentile, and that is the following … nor the desire of women… this is a statement that expressed one of the requirements for the Messianic man, this is an echo of Genesis 3:15…

(Gen 3:15)  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

(Dan 11:38)  But in his place he shall honor the god of forces, and he shall honor a god whom his fathers did not know, with gold and silver and with precious stones, and desirable things.

(Dan 11:39)  And he shall act in the strongholds of the fortresses with a foreign god, whom he shall acknowledge. He shall multiply in glory, and he shall cause them to rule over many and shall divide the land for a price.

Once again here we see this particular phrases that are only from the Jewish point of view and not from a gentile world, and manifesting one of the most punishable sins under the Jewish Law, which is idolatry.

(Dan 11:40)  And at the end time, the king of the south will engage in butting with him. And the king of the north shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships. And he shall go into the lands and shall overflow and pass over.

(Dan 11:41)  And he shall enter into the glorious land, and many will be stumbled. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the sons of Ammon.

(Dan 11:42)  And his hand will stretch out against the lands, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

(Dan 11:43)  But he will rule over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all Egypt’s desirable things. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

(Dan 11:44)  But news shall trouble him from the east and from the north. And he will go out with great fury to destroy and to devote many to destruction.

(Dan 11:45)  And he shall plant his palace tents between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, and there is not a helper for him.

From the verse 40 and throughout 45 there is a more view of the end times in the passage but with a more unclear vision of what the meaning is for this passage.  We might try to understand it but it is a little bit complicated.  For instance, many people bring this chapter of Daniel with a conjunction of Ezekiel 38; this particular chapter expressed the king of Gog from the land of Magog.  It is for you to study such chapter and to come up with your own conclusion about if this chapter is talking about this scenario in chapter 11 in Daniel, my personal and humble opinion is that is not the same scenario.

Gog and Magog Map in PDF  (Double in this link for you to be able to see the file in PDF Format)

In this lasts verses, the scripture make references to three landmarks, these are; Edom, Moab and the chief of the sons of Ammon and these portions of lands today are known as the Jordan.  If you notice in the image provided as a reference for your understanding of this Bible Study, the region mentioned here was on the time of Joshua the regions of the tribes of Manasseh, Gad and Reuben accordance with the Book of Joshua. In October 1994 there was a peace treated signed by Israel and Jordan.  In Deuteronomy chapter 4 there is reference to the land of the Jordan as a refuge land to the manslayer:

The Jordan River in Biblical Times  (Double  click in this link to be able to see the image in a PDF Format)

(Deu 4:42)  that the manslayer might flee there, he who killed his neighbor unawares, and did not hate him in times before, and that he fleeing to one of these cities might live:

(Deu 4:43)  Bezer in the wilderness, in the tableland, for the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

Is this part of the end times?

We must agree that verses 36 throughout 45 are verses related to the time of the Great Tribulation and the Armageddon Battle.  Since 400 AD this particular chapter of the book of Daniel it has being viewed as a passage of the anti-Christ.  It is a possibility that between verse 35 (verse in where the historical and narratives events ends in this chapter) and the verse 36 (verse 36 is a post church event) had being few years.

The important thing to understand for us, “the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ”, is that before the anti-Christ to be reveal, the Church (Body of Christ) will be taking away by the Lord Himself and as a consequence of such action the Holy Spirit of God will also be removed from this Earth, leaving completely clear the road for the reveal of the anti-Christ.  You must remember that neither God nor the Holy Spirit of God can be where the sin is present and active, because God is “The Living God” and the Scripture says the following about sin;

Rom_7:8  But sin taking occasion through the commandment worked every lust in me; for apart from Law, sin is dead.

Rom_8:2  For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and of death.

We Must be ready for the encounter with Him…

Even under the burning, fiery furnace… The Angel of the Lord will be There…

Gold Image on Chapter 3 Book of Daniel

(Please to see the image presentation click on the above subtitle of this Post until you see the PDF file)

Dan 3:1-7 LITV

(1)  Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold whose height was sixty cubits; its breadth, six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

(2)  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges and the justices. And all the officials of the provinces were ordered to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

(3)  Then were gathered the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the justices, and all the officials of the provinces, to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

(4)  Then the herald cried with strength: To you it is commanded O peoples, nations, and languages,

(5)  at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.

(6)  And whoever does not fall down and worship, at that moment they will be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace.

(7)  Then at that time when all the people heard the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages fell down, worshiping the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.

During this time, in the events of Chapter three, Daniel and the Jews were for quite sometime in the region and kingdom of Babylon.  Please remember the events that took place during chapter two, in were king Nebuchadnezzar had the dream if the image that only Daniel was capable to interpret by the power of GOD.  There is no explanation of why the king acted this way, and created this image and ordered to be idolized by the people of his kingdom.  We had not being told either by the Bible, the formation the image had, we might speculate, but nothing to concrete about it.  All we know is what the Bible is telling us about the event that took place that day.  Many time over in our own personal lives this also is repeated, and let me be very clear about this comment and that is, that in many occasions in our lives God does not need to reveal all the details of our challenging moment, difficult trail, nor circumstances as long as we are in the hand of the Lord and under his will, all that we must do is to be still and know that He is GOD, read below:

Psa_46:10  Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.

King Nebuchadnezzar order to all of the members of his cabinet in government in a meeting, we must imagine how important was the event.  Throughout history all men of power, even those that have or start with good intentions, the greed and feeling of power and control over others, make them feel overwhelmed, to the point in were their wisdom and understanding get distorted.  For those that goes thru such moments reality is no longer part of a normal behavior, because they themselves do not consider themselves normal, but above everyone else.  No exception was king Nebuchadnezzar (lets remember as examples of this human behavior king David, king Solomon, the judge Samson and others).  The difference is how, we react in front of God and if we recognized our sins and repent from them, as king David did, making him (king David) a man after God’s own heart.

Just imagine, all the people of the kingdom of Babylon, due to the imperial order of the king Nebuchadnezzar, gather at once to worship this image created by the king.

Interesting enough there is a factor implemented in this narrative, which consist of the sounds of the musical instruments.  This reminded me, in the Book of Revelation how at the sound of the trumpet of God, He Himself will come from Heaven, please read:

1Th_4:16  Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel’s voice, and with God’s trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first.

Rev_10:7  but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, whenever he is about to trumpet, was even ended the mystery of God, as He preached to His slaves, the prophets.

So looking to this event, tells me how the devil had tried over and over through human history, replicating the Only Living God’s actions without a victory.

In the verse 6 is remarkable to see how the devil uses the human spirit of fear to make them to tremble and panic.  The opposite of God and the Lord our Savior, that not only tells us that the spirit of fear is not from God, but also that He Himself is love, read below:

1Jn_4:7  Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God, and everyone who loves has been generated from God, and knows God.

1Jn_4:8  The one who does not love has not known God, because God is love.

Hag_2:5  with the Word by whom I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit stands among you; do not fear.

Rom_8:15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father!

What a concept, a God that is love and does not like to put His people thru fear.

The great difference between Israel and their GOD, from any other nation and their idols was that God was a God with no image, no temple, not to be feared by His people and a God of love.  It was inconceivable for other nations to understand that there was no image to worship, nor to fear, nor touch or see in a physical world.

You as a follower of the Lord must understand this important concept, God, The Lord Jesus our Savior and the Holy Spirit are ONE and They are without image to be worship in a physical world, is a God of love, and does not reside in a physical temple but in your heart.  Wherever you go, He is with you, never leave you nor forsake you… Never Ever…

In verse 7 is indicated how all the nations of the kingdom felt to worship the idol at the moment of the sound of the music.  Just imagine the noise and the incredible multitude.

The dimensions of the image created by Nebuchadnezzar are very explicit in the narrative in verse 1, let’s reviewed such dimensions;

Dan 3:1 LITV

(1)  Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold whose height was sixty cubits; its breadth, six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

It is believed that this measurement varied on the nation and people that you were referring to, but it is also believed the normal cubit in the Babylonian era was around 18 inches long.   So if we calculate such measurements of the image we can see that it was 90 feet tall by 9 feet long (for the purpose of this study, we will be assuming that the width was equal to the length) by 9 feet width (I am including an image that will give you a visual example of the physical attributes and magnitude of this idol on perspective to the Statue of Liberty of the United State of America.  The idol was approximately one third of the Statue of Liberty.  Click on the image title for you to see it in a PDF file format).  Let me be clear, in no moment the Bible says what kind of image was, whether it was an “obelisk” as many are saying in their stories or not, does not have importance for the purpose of God and God’s glory, so I will be limiting myself to express what the Bible is also saying.

On today’s standards the size of this image will not be that intimidating, but for the time in were was constructed it was very intimidating.  Imagine a normal size man of 6 feet on the side of an image completely built in gold of 90 feet tall, quite impressive image.

Dan 3:8-12 LITV

(8)  Then at that time men, Chaldeans, came near and slandered the Jews.

(9)  They answered and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever!

(10)  You, O king, have made a decree that every man who shall hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and the bagpipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image.

(11)  And whoever does not fall down and worship, he should be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace.

(12)  There are men, Jews, whom you have set over the business of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, do not pay attention to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.

Observe how the Bible state in verse 8, “… Chaldeans, …”.

You must placed yourself in their place, as Chaldeans, they were the ones belongs to the land, to have every and any privilege, even more when those not citizens from your land are put above you as leaders of the land.  That was exactly what happened to them.  They Slandered the Jews; by definition of slandering someone is the following;

Slandered

SLA’NDERED, pp. Defamed; injured in good name by false and malicious reports.

Nothing new under the sun as the Bible says.

During this period of time and under the Babylonian Law, which ever law was established by the king would not, can not, must not be revoked by anyone under any circumstances, so Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could neither do so in accordance with the Chaldeans.  Very important for you to noticed that during this narrative the Bible does not mention Daniel to be present, it is presumable that Daniel was, as a high ranking in command in the kingdom (read below in Dan 2:48), in a mission from the king Nebuchadnezzar out of the Land at the time of this event (but this is an hypothetical expression).

Dan 2:48 LITV

(48)  Then the king made Daniel great and gave many great gifts to him. And he made him ruler over all the province of Babylon, and chief of the prefects over all the wise men of Babylon.

Also noticed how the names of the Jews men were the ones given by the Chaldeans and not their native land names.  Making them a property of the state by birth and not Jew citizens, to the fact that the law was over them in a more restricted manner.

Dan 3:13-18 LITV

(13)  Then Nebuchadnezzar in anger and wrath commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

(14)  Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that you are not serving my gods, nor worshiping the golden image which I have set up?

(15)  Now if you are ready, at the time you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, zither, the lyre, harp, and bagpipe, and all kinds of music, fall down and worship the image which I have made. But if you do not worship, in that moment you shall be thrown into the middle of a burning, fiery furnace. And who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hand?

(16)  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to return a word to you on this matter.

(17)  If it is so that our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, then He will deliver out of your hand, O king.

(18)  And if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.

There is nothing more serious to a leader than someone whose challenge him in public, and so they  (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) did.  To make sure the word was understood by the men brought to him (king Nebuchadnezzar), He repeated the command to them (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego), and once again they did not felt intimidated by the king command.  Fear does not exist in a Christian heart.

The king trying his hardest to make them to react to the command he has proclaim, insisted once again, but they did not moved in any way.  Please looked at the way the king expressed himself in regard to God, “… And who is that god who shall deliver you out of my hand?..”  This is the same man that saw how the God of Daniel revealed to him the meaning of a dream that no one else could.

The king used the word “god” as is specified by the narrative in the Word of God, making very clear how ignorant is the man that does not know God and neither have a real knowledge of Him, as the Word says;

Psa_56:13  For You have delivered my soul from death. Do You not keep my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Jer_23:36  And you shall not mention the burden of Jehovah again, for each man’s word shall be his burden. But you have perverted the Words of the living God, of Jehovah of Hosts, our God.

In this verse 15, the word used is god, which is dedicated to idols and not to the Only Living God.  Since the beginning of time the name of our God has always being respected and utilized with a unique way used even when the language tell otherwise to be use.  The position of God in every way, language, and during any time since creation had, has and will be for ever place as the Only Living God, our Lord Jesus the Savior, the Holy Spirit and no one else to take His place.

The answered from the young Jews was unexpected from the king or the witness to the king.  Many situations we must stand alone, but we must stand as men of God.  Their answer was that, one-way or the other, their knees would not bow down to the image.

It is remarkable how these younger men, in a stranger land, under a leadership position, and placed in a critical moment, in front of the highest authority in their government, they decided to stand in what they believed and not reject their relationship with God, to the point of loosing their lives.  Today under the Grace we can count on the Word of God to guide us and instruct us as we go thru those difficult moments, but they could not do so.  They only count with the Torah and the writings, that was only if they memorized them.  Now do you see how remarkable this action was?

Psa_4:5  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and trust in Jehovah.

Psa_5:11  But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever, because You cover them. And let those who love Your name be joyful in You.

Psa_9:10  And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Jehovah, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Dan 3:19-23 LITV

(19)  Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and the form of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usual to heat it.

(20)  And he commanded mighty men of valor in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to throw them into the burning, fiery furnace.

(21)  Then these men were tied up in their slippers, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other clothes, and were thrown into the middle of the burning, fiery furnace.

(22)  Then, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

(23)  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the middle of the burning, fiery furnace.

Now, you expect from a king that is adjust to judge and deal with difficult situations to be able to deal with this moment in a wise and diligent manner, but in the opposite to what it was expected, the king indulged in violence, full of anger and in a repulsive feeling, order to “…mighty men of valor in his army…” to tie up these youngsters and to throw them up to the fiery furnace burning seven times more than normal.  When a man of God is taken to be tie up by the adversary, is always the used of a human strength the one that the enemy use, but as the Word of God tells us, that there is no human strength, not by sword or armies but by the Word of God that we have the power from the Spirit of the Lord.  They were thrown to the furnace, which was seven times hotter than before, and as you know the number seven means “completion”, and so God was giving total complete victory to the youngsters with an incredible revealing moment of truth that was going to be preserved throughout history.

Dan 3:24-27 LITV

(24)  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was amazed. And he rose up in haste; he spoke and said to his royal officials, Did we not throw three men bound into the middle of the fire? They replied and said to the king, True, O king.

(25)  He answered and said, Behold! I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and there is no harm among them. And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

(26)  Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning, fiery furnace. He answered and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the middle of the fire.

(27)  And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s officials assembled. And they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power, and the hair of their head was not scorched, nor were their slippers changed, nor had the smell of fire clung on them.

The image that I have of this event is the king Nebuchadnezzar sitting on his mobile seat, being carried by the servants of him, and seeing how the three youngsters that were thrown to the fury furnace of fire, the one that burn the mighty ones selected by him (king Nebuchadnezzar), are not even tie up, nor burn in any way, nor suffering in any form, and more intriguing there are no more three but four of them.  Noticed also how the king himself expressed about the fourth member in the furnace, “…And the form of the fourth is like a son of the gods…”.  It is my believe that the one with them was our Lord Jesus, please remember that this is at the time in where was no knowledge of Jesus our Lord, and if it was, was with the attribute of a future coming as a Messiah.  More remarkable is the fact that Nebuchadnezzar express himself the way he did.  He (king Nebuchadnezzar) stand up from his place, approach the ventilator of the furnace and to his amazed images ask for approval of his observations from the rest of the court.  And here is where it takes a wonderful turning point, look how king Nebuchadnezzar said “…servants of the Most High God, come out and come here…”.  He called them servants of the Most High God; today the followers of the Lord are also called servants of the Lord, so it is use a term very familiar to us today and with which we should not feel ashamed.  More importantly is the term that the king used when the king referred to God as the Most High God, and this term was always used by the gentiles’ people to make distinction of the God of the Jews versus their idols.  So once again king Nebuchadnezzar recognized the position of the Only Living God in the human chain.

We all know that God is not a God of confusion nor of half way things done, but a certain, concrete, truthful and clear without any doubts God.  The court advisers started to see if any harm or even smell came out of the three youngsters, but nothing at all.

Dan 3:28-30 LITV

(28)  Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent His Angel and has delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s words, and have given their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god except their own God.

(29)  And a decree is set out by me, that every people, nation, and language who speak anything amiss about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, he will be made into mere members and his house shall be made an outhouse. Because there is no other God who is able to deliver like this.

(30)  Then the king made Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prosper in the province of Babylon.

It is remarkable, once again, to see how a gentile king is moved to recognize the Only Living God, the way he could only do it.  See also how Nebuchadnezzar used the word “…Angel…”, in the middle of the sentence this word is used in capital letter, why?

Let see the root of the word thru the strong numbers;

H4398

מלאך  (Aramaic)

mal’ak

BDB Definition:

1) angel

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: corresponding to H4397

Same Word by TWOT Number: 2827

H4397

מלאך

mal’âk

BDB Definition:

1) messenger, representative

1a) messenger

1b) angel

1c) the theophanic angel

Part of Speech: noun masculine

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy

Same Word by TWOT Number: 1068a

It is my humble opinion that this Messenger sent by God was none other than His Son our Lord.  What an incredible experience these youngsters went thru.  I only could hope, I could have the blessing to be able to see Him in the moment of his Glory and second coming.  Praise For Ever is His name, Amen…